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Pinellas sheriff: Jail deputy fired for driving while impaired in St. Pete crash Pinellas sheriff: Jail deputy fired for driving while impaired in St. Pete crash

Detention Deputy Kimberly Peck has not been arrested in this case. Nonetheless, the Sheriff's Office terminated her for violating policy.
Published Feb. 13

The Pinellas County Sheriff's Office fired a detention deputy the day after investigators said she was driving while impaired when she crashed into another car.

However the former deputy, Kimberly Peck, 53, has not been arrested for that allegation.

The incident took place at about 4:20 p.m. Monday. Peck was off-duty and driving a 2017 Honda CR-V north on 71st Street toward 54th Avenue N, according to the Florida Highway Patrol. Bethania A. Gomez Felix, in a 2016 Honda Fit, was stopped at a red light at the intersection in the lane to turn left onto 71st Street.

Peck made a wide right turn, troopers said, and her CR-V hit Felix's Fit. After the impact, Peck's car continued east into the westbound lane of 54th Avenue N, stopping at the intersection of 70th Lane N.

Felix, 37, and her 17-year-old passenger were both taken to St. Petersburg General Hospital with minor injuries. Peck was taken to Northside Hospital to be treated for minor injuries. She was fired on Tuesday.

The crash is still under investigation, said Highway Patrol Sgt. Steve Gaskins. A trooper's report noted that alcohol may have been a factor in Peck's driving. Investigators said she showed "obvious indicators of impairment," according to the Sheriff's Office.

The Sheriff's Office indicated that Peck's blood-alcohol level exceeded 0.08, the level at which Florida law presumes a driver is impaired. However, it did not specify what the exact level was or how it was determined.

Peck was fired under an agency policy that calls for terminating a deputy found to be driving under the influence. She had worked for the Sheriff's Office since January 2002 and was assigned to the Pinellas County jail. She declined to comment Wednesday.

Contact Kathryn Varn at kvarn@tampabay.com or (727) 893-8913. Follow @kathrynvarn.

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