Around the Region


Published: Tuesday, January 21, 2003 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Tuesday, January 21, 2003 at 12:12 a.m.

POLICE BEAT

Cross City man killed in single-vehicle crash

CROSS CITY - A Cross City man died Sunday when his car ran off the road and into a water-filled ditch.

Julian Troy Valentine, 36, was driving a 1999 Ford north on County Road 358 about six miles north of Cross City at 4:49 p.m. when it drifted onto the grass shoulder, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.

Valentine tried to turn the vehicle back onto the road but overcorrected to the right, causing it to slide sideways. It rolled over several times across the road and into a ditch filled with water, according to the FHP.

Valentine was ejected from the vehicle. Both he and the vehicle landed in the water.

- Kathy Ciotola

COMMUNITY

Sign language school official to speak at UF

Dr. Roslyn Rosen, vice president of Gallaudet University in Washington, D.C., will speak on her experiences within the deaf community at 8 p.m. Saturday in the Reitz Union ballroom. The event opens People Awareness Week at the University of Florida.

An interpreter will translate Rosen's American Sign Language into spoken words. Her speech coincides with Able 2, the first statewide leadership conference for students with disabilities.

Gallaudet University is the only four-year liberal arts institution where all teaching is done in American Sign Language.

The event is free and open to the public.

- Diane Chun

STATE

Man dies in I-95 crash with tractor-trailer

JACKSONVILLE - A tractor-trailer flipped over a concrete barrier wall near downtown and struck a pickup truck, killing the driver.

The accident occurred Sunday afternoon on a curve on the southbound lane of Interstate 95 and forced authorities to limit traffic to one lane for more than five hours.

The tractor-trailer driver tried to regain control of the rig when he struck the barrier, but the trailer twisted and went over the waist-high wall, said Florida Highway Patrol Trooper David Cimino. The pickup truck driver had no time to react and crashed into the trailer, Cimino said.

The man's identity was not immediately made public by authorities.

Tractor-trailer driver Dennis Garrison, 45, and passenger Shona Plant were taken to a hospital but did not have life-threatening injuries, authorities said.

Cimino said drivers have struck the same curving section of Interstate 95 in the past.

- The Associated Press

Man steals $80,000 from ATM technician

DELRAY BEACH - An unmasked man stole up to $80,000 from an automated teller machine technician who was repairing the machine.

James McCormack, a 15-year employee for Diebold ATM Services, was working on a Suntrust Bank ATM when a man in his 50s wearing latex gloves and carrying a chrome pistol followed him into the ATM cubicle and demanded the money.

McCormack, 61, wasn't hurt in the incident, which occurred shortly past noon on Friday.

McCormack had to call for a code to unlock the money chest, which contained two trays that hold up to $80,000. The bank is auditing how much is missing, said Delray Beach Police Lt. Mark Woods.

- The Associated Press

Inmate fails in attempt to escape from jail

TALLAHASSEE - A felon accused of fatally shooting a police officer during a home-invasion robbery has been charged with attempted escape and other charges after he was caught trying to break out of jail, police said.

Coy J. Evans, 33, already facing a first-degree murder charge for the Nov. 13 slaying of Sgt. Dale Green, was also charged Sunday with battery on a law enforcement officer, depriving a law enforcement officer of a means of communication, kidnapping and falsely impersonating an officer.

Police said Evans overpowered one Lee County jail guard and fought with another during an escape attempt early Sunday.

According to a police incident report, Evans grabbed officer William Summerlin by the wrist early Sunday after Summerlin opened the cell door to give Evans toilet paper that he had requested.

Evans then placed a sharp object against Summerlin's neck, told him to get on the floor and ordered the officer to take off his uniform. Evans then put on the uniform and closed Summerlin into the cell. That's when another officer, Bryan Cornwell, walked in, and the two began to struggle. Eventually, two other officers arrived and helped subdue Evans.

Another officer, Bryan Cornwell, was injured, but no one was hospitalized, said Lt. Linda Butler, a Leon County sheriff's spokeswoman.

Evans, who had been on suicide watch for most of his time in jail, was returned to his cell, Butler said.

- The Associated Press

Manatees may move up to `threatened' status

TAMPA - The manatee's days as an endangered species in Florida could be numbered.

The gentle, slow-moving "sea cow" has been the state's mammal mascot for years, with a county named in its honor and specialty license plates displaying its likeness.

Depending on whom you talk to, manatees are either dying at an increasing rate or they have a steady population and aren't even threatened.

Manatees should no longer be considered an endangered species, as their numbers have increased over the past 30 years, according to a recent report by the Florida Marine Research Institute. But the report also warned that greater threats from boats and loss of habitat could halve the manatee population in the next 45 years, which warrants their classification as a threatened species.

- The Associated Press

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