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.