Car crash caused gas line break, bomb squad response in Hernando

Suspect Michael Lee Roberts, 28, of Brooksville, also was arrested July 27 on charges of criminal mischief and resisting an officer with violence after he drove a SUV erratically on the jail lawn and then crashed into a flagpole.

Michael Lee Roberts, 28, of Brooksville, was arrested Sunday following a traffic accident involving a natural gas leak on Spring Hill Drive.

HERNANDO COUNTY, FL (WFLA) – A car accident on Spring Hill Drive in Brooksville caused a gas transmission line break, according to Hernando County Fire Rescue. Local businesses were evacuated.

The single-vehicle accident happened on Spring Hill Drive in front of the Hernando County Detention Center around 11 a.m. The detention center employees called Hillsborough County Fire Rescue and reported that the gas line had been damaged.

The driver was familiar to Hernando County sheriff’s deputies. Michael Lee Roberts, 28, of Brooksville, is the same individual who was arrested on July 27 on charges of criminal mischief and resisting an officer with violence after he drove a SUV erratically on the jail lawn and then crashed into a flagpole.

Roberts remains at the Hernando County Detention Center on no bond status awaiting first appearance on Monday.

Sunday morning, Hernando County firefighters and Hazmat team members responded to the accident scene on Spring Hill Drive. They discovered that an SUV hit a 2-inch natural gas line at a valve assembly near the detention center entrance. Firefighters hosed down the leak with water. TECO crews arrived as well and worked on fixing the line.

Hernando County firefighters remained on the scene after evacuating the local businesses. Hernando sheriff’s deputies were also there, investigating the crash. They saw a suspicious device and called in the Citrus County Sheriff’s Office Bomb Squad. They evaluated and cleared the item, confirming that there was no threat.

The driver of the vehicle, who turned out to be Roberts, was taken to a hospital for treatment. Officials reopened Spring Hill Drive near the accident scene at about 3:45 p.m.

Hernando County Fire Rescue joined by the Hernando County Sheriff’s Office, Florida Highway Patrol, Citrus County Sheriff’s Office and the Hernando County Fire Corps all worked together at the accident scene.

Roberts was later questioned at the sheriff’s office and was arrested on an active Hernando County felony warrant related to discharging a firearm from a vehicle. It is related to a Brooksville Police Department case, according to the sheriff’s office.

In addition to the warrant, Roberts also was charged with three counts of threatening to harm a public servant and two counts of felony criminal
mischief in regards to Sunday’s crash.

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