A woman was seriously injured as her car caught fire in a
car accident where a man ran a stop sign, then got out and fled the scene on foot,
according to a
Hillsborough County Sherriff’s Office release.
Anne Fanning was driving a 2003 Mazda eastbound on the Brandon Parkway
Extension at around 40 mph on July 27 at around 11:28 p.m., the release
shows. Donald Ward, who was driving a 2007 GMC Envoy southbound on Providence
Road at around 45 mph, ran a stop sign, crossed the westbound lanes, struck
the raised median and struck Fanning’s Mazda in her driver’s
door with the front of the Envoy.
While Ward fled the scene of the accident on foot, Fanning was stuck behind
the wheel with critical internal injuries as the back of the vehicle caught fire, a
Tampa Bay Timesarticle shows. Deputies used six fire extinguishers to keep the fire from
spreading to the cab until firefighters arrived at the scene.
A deputy and a tracking dog along with Air Service arrived to search for
Ward. The dog called K9 Deuce tracked him to a retention pond surrounded
by thick brush, but the dog was unable to find his exact location. However,
a pilot located him at the edge of the pond, hiding under the brush and
vines, then guided the tracking dog to the location. K9 Deuce bit down
on his hand, but was unable to hold onto him. Ward swam under water to
the middle of the pond, but quickly surrendered when he surfaced.
Ward was treated for minor injuries to his hand, arrested and charged with
leaving the scene of a crash with injury, and later released on $2,000 bail. Deputies said he smelled of alcohol,
but refused to submit to any field sobriety tests. Blood alcohol content
and further charges are pending toxicology results.