Around the Region for Jan. 5, 2012


Published: Wednesday, January 4, 2012 at 9:53 p.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, January 4, 2012 at 9:53 p.m.

POLICE BEAT

Jeep rear-ends school bus on SR 24

Two children and the driver of a Jeep Cherokee were taken to area hospitals after the vehicle rear-ended an Alachua County school bus on State Road 24 Wednesday morning.

All 51 children on the bus were at first taken to Kanapaha Middle School, according to a Florida Highway Patrol news release. Two of them were later taken by ambulance to Shands at the University of Florida in Gainesville, where they were treated for minor injuries.

The driver of the Jeep, Clint D. Calton, 40, of Hawthorne, was taken to North Florida Regional Medical Center with minor injuries.

According to FHP, bus driver Priscilla L. Davis, 37, of Micanopy had stopped the bus in the right lane facing west on SR 24 near Southwest 63rd Boulevard at 8:56 a.m. Calton, also traveling west, struck it from behind, the FHP reported. He was cited for careless driving, according to the FHP.

— Staff report

Deputies seek help in cell tower copper theft

Deputies are looking for information and the culprits involved in a copper theft from a cellphone tower in Archer.

The theft was reported early Wednesday by a field engineer for AT&T Mobility when he went to the cell tower at 12515 SW 170th St., according to the Alachua County Sheriff’s Office.

Sheriff’s spokesman Art Forgey said it appeared the thieves had entered the property by prying up the chain link fence in the northwest corner of the property using a tool of some sort.

Once inside, the intruders removed about 50 feet of copper grounding wire from several different places on the property, Forgey said.

The theft is believed to have happened sometime between Dec. 16 and Wednesday morning.

An AT&T official told deputies it will cost about $2,500 to replace the stolen copper wire.

Forgey said the theft in Archer is the latest in a two-year-long string of thefts of copper wire from utilities around the county.

— Karen Voyles

Trenton woman, 90, hospitalized after crash

A 90-year-old Trenton woman remained in critical condition Wednesday following a single-car crash on Tuesday.

According to the Florida Highway Patrol, Bernice Marcella Rattunde was alone in a 2007 Honda when the accident happened on Northeast 11th Avenue in Trenton on Tuesday morning. Rattunde, who was wearing a seatbelt, was taken to Shands at the University of Florida.

Trooper Keith Davis said Rattunde had a medical problem that resulted in her driving off the road and into a utility pole. The car then hit a tree.

— Karen Voyles

Police seek suspect in Waldo Road gun incident

The Gainesville Police Department is looking for the teenager they suspect of carrying a handgun used in an incident along Waldo Road the week before Christmas in which gunshots were fired.

Investigators said Antwan Clark, 19, whose last known address is 1325 NE Third Ave., is the person who carried a handgun to the scene of the shooting.

Another teen, Tyrone Isiah Thomas, 19, of 1600 NE 12th Ave., has already been arrested in the case and charged with attempted murder. Police said Thomas fired a .380-caliber handgun several times at Timothy Devon Lawrence, 35.

Anyone with information on Clark’s whereabouts is asked to call police at 955-1818.

— Karen Voyles

10-year-old critically hurt in crash near Mayo

A 10-year-old Lafayette County youth was critically injured Wednesday in a car crash west of Mayo in which frost on the windshield may have obstructed one driver’s view, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.

Yonathan Perez Binuelo, of Mayo, was listed in critical condition at Shands at the University of Florida after the 8 a.m. crash on County Road 534 about five miles west of Mayo, according to FHP.

FHP said a 2001 Saturn in which Yonathan was a passenger, being driven by Gabriel Binuelo, 28, of Mayo, was headed west on CR 534 when it apparently attempted to make a U-turn and drove into the path of an eastbound vehicle driven by Mark Lawson, 36, of Mayo.

According to FHP, Binuelo said that excessive frost on her windshield was obstructing her view of the road ahead.

No other injuries were reported.

— Staff report

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