On Thursday, September 12th, a
car accident left a local deputy seriously injured. During the late morning hours,
a senior Pasco County Sheriff’s Deputy, James Gariepy, drove into
the path of an oncoming Jeep Cherokee at the intersection of State Road
52 and US Route 41.
According to official Florida Highway Patrol (FHP) accident details, 64-year-old
Gariepy was on duty in his patrol car in the north left-hand turning lane
of US 41 just near 11:00am. The deputy’s light turned green with
a yellow blinking arrow, indicating he could proceed to turn left onto
the westbound lane of State Road 52.
18-year-old Elizabeth Pine was headed southbound, opposite of Gariepy,
and told authorities that she had a green light as she entered the intersection
and that Gariepy suddenly turned left in front of her SUV. Pine collided
with the sheriff deputy’s unmarked Chevy Impala patrol car. The
front ends of both vehicles were crushed by the impact of the collision.
Deputy Gariepy was transported by an ambulance to Regional Medical Center
Bayonet Point. Gariepy was kept in the hospital overnight, but a Pasco
County Sheriff’s spokesperson issued a brief statement indicating
that Gariepy was expected to be ok.
Elizabeth Pine was not injured in the accident. She was joined by her mother
Margaret Pine, at the scene of the accident in a Citgo gas station parking
lot adjacent to the intersection where the crash took place. The crash
is pending further investigation.