Sarasota deputy records frightening video of wrong-way driver

Sarasota County Sheriff's Office image

SARASOTA, Fla. (WFLA) — We frequently hear about wrong-way drivers here in the Tampa Bay area, but actually seeing someone drive toward you in the wrong direction can make you realize just how dangerous of a situation it is.

A camera inside a Sarasota deputy’s cruiser recorded frightening video of a wrong-way driver traveling in the breakdown lane of southbound Interstate 75 at 11 a.m. Monday.

Ryan Fleury, Sarasota County Jail booking photo
Ryan Fleury, Sarasota County Jail booking photo

Deputies stopped the driver, who was identified as Ryan Fleury, age 21, of Port Charlotte. Deputies asked him to submit to a blood alcohol test. They say the results were .28, which is 3.5 times the legal limit.

Fleury has been charged with DUI, obstruction and fleeing to elude.

No one was injured in the incident.

“He stayed in that breakdown lane, and luckily no one was in that breakdown lane,” said Lt. Daniel Tutko of the Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office.

Lt. Tutko said he’s through luck no one was injured.

News Channel 8 showed the video to Tom Carey, a Clearwater attorney who lost his wife to a drunk driver who had 5 DUI. convictions. Carey said he couldn’t believe what he was watching.

“It brings back a lot of tough memories for me,” he said. “It’s painful and shocking to watch that.”

The sheriff’s office offered advice in case you encounter a wrong-way driver. Move safely to the other side of the road or come to a stop if possible, deputies said.

Then, dial 911. Don’t turn around to follow the driver, as this can put you and others in more danger, deputies said.

Tutko told News Channel 8 Fleury admitted to being behind the wheel and apologized. He was released from jail at 4 p.m. Tuesday. He’ll be supervised and will undergo random testing to make sure he avoids drugs and alcohol. He has no prior convictions, according to the Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office.

Tampa Bay area wrong-way crashes (Information courtesy FDOT)

Click on the map locator to find out the details about the crash

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