Alachua woman injured in crash after deputy gives up trying to catch up with car


Published: Tuesday, January 4, 2005 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Monday, January 3, 2005 at 11:35 p.m.

An Alachua woman was injured last week shortly after a deputy tried to catch up to her speeding car, the Alachua County Sheriff's Office reported.

Driver Kelly N. Welch, 18, crashed at NW 138th Avenue and NW 214th Terrace in northwestern Alachua County Wednesday evening after a deputy spotted the car speeding on Peggy Road, or County Road 2054. The deputy had been trying to catch the car at one point, said Sheriff's Office spokesman Jim Troiano, but decided to stop after the car turned down a dirt road and sped away.

Due to the road's condition and dust kicked up from her car, Deputy Michael Privette reported in that he wasn't going to continue following the driver because conditions were too dangerous.

Privette, who was responding to a call in the area at about 6:30 p.m., saw a car ahead of him driving south on CR 2054 at a high rate of speed, Troiano said.

The deputy estimated the car was traveling about 90 mph in a 45 mph zone.

Privette turned on his lights and siren and followed the car in an attempt to overtake it, Troiano said. The deputy saw the vehicle overshoot the intersection of Peggy Road before heading north on NW 202nd St.

The car then turned west onto NW 138th Avenue. Privette saw the car's taillights and a thick cloud of lime rock coming from the unpaved road and decided it was too dangerous to continue, Troiano said.

Soon after Privette stopped following the car, it crashed at NW 138th Avenue and NW 214th Terrace, west of NW 202nd Street and a short distance from some homes. A resident reported the accident.

Troiano said Privette was trying to overtake the car but was not in an active pursuit. A pursuit, he said, is where a motorist is deliberately evading a deputy's car. It was not clear in this case, he said, if Welch knew the deputy was following her because of the distance already between the two vehicles and her speed when the officer first spotted her car.

Troopers are investigating the crash, and charges are likely against Welch regarding the accident, said Florida Highway Patrol spokesman Lt. Mike Burroughs.

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