PALM HARBOR, Fla. (WFLA) – An on-duty deputy was involved in a three-vehicle Palm Harbor crash Wednesday. The accident occurred around 4:45 p.m. on Curlew Road, east of Landmark Drive.
Deputy John Newman was driving in a marked vehicle. He had been sent to conduct a welfare check on Landmark Boulevard, according to the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office. He was traveling eastbound on Curlew Road in the median lane. When he passed the Curlew and Landmark intersection, Newman looked at his laptop to get information on the welfare check, deputies said.
“Deputy Newman did not see traffic stopping in front of him for the red-light at Curlew Road and McMullen Booth Road,” a Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office spokesperson said.
The deputy’s cruiser struck a stopped Honda CRV. The CRV was pushed into a Toyota 4Runner, deputies said.
The 66-year-old driver of the CRV was taken to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries. Deputy Newman and the driver of the 4Runner were not injured, officials said.
“Investigators say at the time of the crash, Deputy Newman was in non-emergency, normal response mode. Speed and impairment were not factors in the crash,” the spokesperson said.
An investigation is underway.