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Crash involving Pinellas deputies, impaired driver leaves one injured

The driver faces charges of driving under the influence and refusal to submit to testing.
Check tampabay.com for the latest breaking news and updates. [TMCCARTY  |  times staff]
Check tampabay.com for the latest breaking news and updates. [TMCCARTY | times staff]
Published Nov. 17

One Pinellas County sheriff’s deputy was injured in a crash with an impaired driver early Sunday morning in unincorporated St. Petersburg.

According to a news release from the sheriff’s office, at about 1 a.m. Sunday, Deputy Denise Duran was driving eastbound on 38th Avenue N in a fully marked squad car. The deputy, who was on duty, rode with a colleague, Nazir Amin.

Duran tried to make a left turn onto northbound 49th Street. At the same time, 32-year-old Leilani Smith of St. Petersburg was headed westbound on 38th Avenue.

The light turned yellow at the intersection of 38th Avenue and 49th Street. At that point, Duran turned into Smith’s path, the release said.

Smith’s car hit the passenger side of Duran’s Crown Victoria.

Amin, Duran’s passenger, was taken to a hospital with minor injuries. Neither Duran nor Smith were hurt, the release said.

As deputies investigated the crash, Smith showed “signs of impairment,” the release said.

She was arrested and taken to the Pinellas County Jail. Smith faces charges of driving under the influence and refusal to submit to testing, the release said.

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