Around the region for March 11, 2013

Published: Monday, March 11, 2013 at 8:54 p.m.
Last Modified: Monday, March 11, 2013 at 8:54 p.m.

Police beat

GPD: DUI suspect's alcohol level nearly 4 times over limit

Gainesville police arrested a man early Monday morning on a DUI charge after his blood-alcohol tests showed his levels were nearly four times the legal limit in Florida, according to a report.

Shortly before 3 a.m., a Gainesville Police Department officer pulled up behind a car parked at 1002 N. Main St., outside a closed business, with its engine running, lights on and loud music blaring.

The driver, Sampson McCook, 31, of Gainesville, was slumped over with his head against a window, gripping a bottle of Ice House beer, according to a police report.

McCook got out of the car very unsteadily, and after he failed sobriety tests, he was arrested on a charge of DUI. Blood-alcohol tests showed his levels were .313 and .311.

— Staff report


Firefighters battling blaze at wood center

Firefighters continue to battle a fire that started Monday morning at the Wood Resource Recovery Center at 10606 N. State Road 121, and officials are warning drivers in the area to be alert for smoke.

The fire is contained to a large pile of debris, but Gainesville Fire Rescue said it will be awhile before it is extinguished.

GFR responded around 7:30 a.m., and two engines, one truck company, five state Department of Forestry vehicles and six tankers are on scene, with 30 firefighters responding.

The Florida Highway Patrol has placed signs on SR 121 and U.S. 441 advising drivers to be cautious because of the smoke and to avoid the area if possible.

— Staff report

Hawthorne woman dies in U.S. 301 crash

An 82-year-old Hawthorne woman was killed in a crash on U.S. 301 Monday morning.

Geraldine L. Martz died in the crash, which occurred at 7:09 a.m. at the intersection of Southeast 138th Place and U.S. 301, about four miles south of Hawthorne, according to a Florida Highway Patrol media release.

She was driving a 1995 Nissan 240SX east on Southeast 138th Place and proceeded to cross U.S. 301. Adam R. Lucius, 25, of Keystone Heights, was southbound on U.S. 301, driving a 2003 Chevrolet Blazer.

The Nissan crossed in front of the Chevrolet and was struck on the driver’s side. Both vehicles traveled south and ended up in the median.

The Chevrolet caught fire and was engulfed in flames, but Lucius was able to get out. He suffered serious injuries and was taken to Shands at the University of Florida in Gainesville.

Martz was pronounced dead at the scene.

— Staff report

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