Man fleeing Pinellas deputies leaves trail of damage before driving into tree

A car crashed into a tree in front of a Pinellas County home.
A car crashed into a tree in front of a Pinellas County home.

PINELLAS COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) – A driver fleeing from deputies trying to pull him over wound up crashing his car into a tree in the front yard of a home in the Seminole area.

At 8:30 a.m. Thursday, deputies were travelling southbound on 113th Street North approaching the intersection of 102nd Avenue North, when they decided to run a background check on the vehicle tag on a 2011 Chevrolet Camaro that was traveling in the same direction.

DHSMV records indicated that the tag on the Camaro was a dealer tag that was replaced.

The deputy pulled in behind the Camaro, which was driven by 24-year-old Monte Dudley, and initiated a traffic stop. Dudley then pulled off to the right southbound curb lane of 113th Street North at the intersection of 102nd Avenue North.

Deputies say, during a red traffic light, the Camaro made a sudden evasive maneuver, abruptly turning southeast through the red traffic light and into the intersection of 113th Street North and 102nd Avenue North.

The deputy did not pursue the Camaro. Investigators say the Camaro hit a 2015 Ford Fiesta that was in the intersection traveling westbound on 102nd Avenue North. The Fiesta was traveling on a green traffic light.

The Camaro then struck a 2004 Dodge Durango in the intersection traveling eastbound on 102nd Avenue North, also on a green traffic light. Deputies said the Camaro continued at a high rate of speed on 102nd Ave., then Dudley lost control.

Tammy Baldwin was driving the opposite direction when she saw the crash. “I saw all the cruisers pulled over and this green car came flying down, his front end was hanging off,” she said. “I watched him in my side mirror, he went up on the grass again and then he was up in the tree.”

The car flipped six or seven times, damaging trees, mailboxes and an unoccupied vehicle. The Camaro came to rest up against a tree in Larry Hines’s yard. Hines said the vehicle nearly missed his child’s bedroom.

“It was approximately eight feet from my daughters window, so she was in there sleep,” he said. “It sounded like a ten car pile-up. Like it was probably the loudest sound I’ve heard in my life.”

Deputies were outside when Hines opened his door.

“I came out, I saw guns drawn. Cops told me to get inside because the vehicle had been stolen and they couldn’t see the guys hands,” he said. Hines said he grabbed his children and went in the garage.

Dudley was trapped inside the vehicle and had to be extricated by rescue crews.  He was transported to Bayfront Medical Center for serious, non-life threatening injuries.

Dudley is charged with one count of Aggravated Fleeing and Eluding, one count of (Felony) Driving While License Suspended or Revoked, and two counts of Leaving the Scene of a Crash with Property Damage. He will be transported to the Pinellas County Jail after he is released from the hospital.

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