PINELLAS PARK — A wrong-way driver died early Thursday after deputies said she slammed head-on into a stopped vehicle on 66th Street N, causing a chain-reaction crash that injured that driver and the Pinellas sheriff's deputy stopped behind him.
Impairment was likely a factor in the crash, according to the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office.
The incident took place shortly after 3 a.m. at the intersection of 66th Street N and 126th Avenue N. The Sheriff's Office gave this account of the crash:
Richard Peterson, 74, was driving a 2018 Chevy Equinox on northbound 66th Street N when he stopped for the red light at the intersection. Stopped behind him was Deputy Jonathan Ferguson, 32, who was driving a sheriff's Chevrolet Tahoe SUV. He had just finished his shift and was off-duty.
Rapidly approaching them, deputies say, was Brittney Hunter, 28, who was driving a 2002 Buick LeSabre south in the northbound lanes of 66th Street N.
Hunter drove the LaSabre through the intersection and struck Peterson's Equinox head-on, deputies said. The impact pushed the Equinox into the sheriff's Tahoe, then caused the Equinox to flip over, deputies said.
Hunter, of Largo, was taken to a hospital for emergency medical treatment, but was later pronounced dead.
Peterson and Ferguson both suffered minored injuries in the crash and were treated at a local hospital. Both were released later that day.
No other details about the crash were released by the Sheriff's Office.
The crash closed the intersection for several hours. All lanes were reopened by 9 a.m.
Contact Tony Marrero at email@example.com or(813) 226-33374. Follow @tmarrerotimes.