CLEARWATER — A 52-year-old man with a history of DUI arrests and a permanently revoked driver's license was behind the wheel again Tuesday morning to calamitous effect: Police said he caused a series of hit-and-run crashes along a two-mile stretch of U.S. 19.
Clearwater police said Jason Mizerski, 52, crashed his 2011 Chevrolet Silverado pick-up truck into a vehicle, drove off and then crashed into another vehicle.
He's accused of doing it three more times after that.
Investigators believe he was under the influence of drugs at the time.
Now Mizerski faces 14 criminal charges that include: four felony counts of DUI with property damage, two felony counts of leaving the scene of a crash, two misdemeanor counts of misdemeanor leaving the scene of a crash and felony charges of violating DUI probation and driving with a licenses suspended or revoked.
All four hit-and-run crashes took place on northbound U.S. 19 starting at about 10:40 a.m.
Mizerski crashed into a vehicle near Gulf to Bay Boulevard, police said, then drover off and then struck another car approaching the Drew Street exit. After driving off again, police said he struck two more cars, south and north of State Road 590. He attempted to drive off after the last crash, too, police said.
Officers soon found Mizerski unresponsive in his pick-up.
His driver's license has been permanently revoked for four or more DUI charges, police say. His license also had been suspended multiple times for refusing to submit to testing during those incidents, as well as for excessive traffic violations. He was also on probation for a DUI charge.
Two people were taken to local hospitals for treatment of injuries caused by the crashes.