Around the region for Dec. 28, 2013
Published: Friday, December 27, 2013 at 10:00 p.m.
Last Modified: Friday, December 27, 2013 at 8:29 p.m.
2 injured in crash caused by mattress
A mattress that fell off a vehicle on Interstate 75 in Alachua County caused an accident that left two Lake City residents hospitalized with serious injuries Thursday night, reported the Florida Highway Patrol.
Veronica K. Smith, 72, and Leward N. Smith, 70, were taken to North Florida Regional Medical Center for treatment, after their 2013 Volkswagen Passat was rear-ended, FHP reported in a press release.
The accident occurred about 7:50 p.m. at northbound mile marker 388 near 39th Avenue. A mattress had fallen into the center lane, causing traffic to stop.
Alyson N. McQuillan, 18, of Newberry, driving a 2003 Volkswagen Beetle, was unable to stop and hit the back of the Smiths’ car. The accident shut down northbound traffic for about 30 minutes.
McQuillan was not injured. She was charged with careless driving.
— Cindy Swirko
15-year-old caught after car chase, FHP reports
A 15-year-old reported runaway accused of stealing a rental car in Marianna led authorities on a reckless chase in Columbia County before she was caught by a Florida Highway Patrol trooper Friday morning, according to a press release.
The Marianna girl was treated for minor injuries that she received when she drove a 2014 Toyota Camry into mailboxes and a culvert before overturning on State Road 47 north of Lunsford Road, FHP said in the release.
At about 10:14 a.m., a police bulletin was issued regarding the stolen Camry and the driver. Troopers spotted the car heading south on Interstate 75 south of Lake City at about 10:37 a.m. Troopers tried to stop the girl as she was pulling off I-75 at SR 47, the press release states.
The girl kept going, followed by three troopers. FHP reported the girl was “extremely reckless, passing numerous cars at a high speed.”
She drove onto the right shoulder to pass traffic but hit the mailboxes and culvert before overturning. FHP said she was wearing her seatbelt and was conscious at the scene. The girl was taken to Lake City Medical Center for treatment and then to the Columbia County Jail.
The release states she was charged with fleeing and eluding troopers, reckless driving, driving without a license and grand theft.
— Cindy Swirko
FHP checkpoint on NW 39th Ave. on New Year’s
The Florida Highway Patrol will be conducting a roadside safety checkpoint on New Year’s Eve starting at 10 p.m. in the 5300 block of Northeast 39th Avenue.
The multi-agency checkpoint will involve both eastbound and westbound motorists.
The goal of the checkpoint, FHP said, is to identify persons who are operating a vehicle with defective equipment, without a valid driver’s license, without a proper vehicle registration, without proper insurance or while under the influence of alcohol or other drugs.
— Staff report