Suspect in DUI charged with striking deputy, nurse at emergency room, Sheriff’s Office says

Deputies believe the man was drunk when he crashed into another vehicle on the Treasure Island Causeway.
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Published July 15
Updated July 15

A man involved in a two-vehicle crash on Treasure Island struck a deputy and a nurse while being questioned at a hospital Sunday evening, the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office said.

Deputies believe 21-year-old Jacob Turner of St. Petersburg was impaired when he crashed his 2003 Ford Explorer into a 2000 Volvo V70 driven by Laura Varonich, 59.

Both drivers were taken to a nearby hospital with serious injuries.

Turner was driving west on the Treasure Island Causeway around 6:22 p.m. when he lost control of his vehicle and slid sideways across the center median, the Sheriff’s Office said. Varonich was headed east and the two vehicles collided just east of Paradise Boulevard.

Turner's speed and impairment were factors in the crash, the Sheriff’s Office said.

Turner became combative while deputies were trying to conduct a DUI investigation at the hospital and he struck a deputy and nurse in the emergency room, the Sheriff’s Office said.

He was charged with one count of battery on a law enforcement officer and one count of battery on an emergency medical care provider. Other charges await the results of a blood test.

Turner was undergoing treatment at the hospital and will be transferred afterward to the Pinellas County Jail, the Sheriff’s Office said.

Contact Daniel Figueroa IV at Follow @danuscripts.