Cops: Man fatally struck by car in Clearwater while fleeing scene of burglary

Donald Sands. (Pinellas County Sheriff's Office)

CLEARWATER, Fla. (WFLA) – A suspected burglar was fatally struck by a vehicle as he fled the scene of a burglary he committed, the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office said.

At about 11:30 pm Saturday, a deputy on patrol saw an unconscious man lying on the eastbound lanes of Ulmerton Road near 62nd Street in Clearwater.

Deputies say the man, later identified as Donald Sands, 55, had clearly been struck by a vehicle. Before backup could arrive, Sands was pronounced dead at the scene.

The driver of the vehicle, Chad McLaughlin, 36, returned to the scene to speak with deputies. His 2017 Cadillac CTS had sustained substantial damage to the passenger side, but he was not injured, according to the incident report. It’s unclear if McLaughlin will face any charges.

While investigating the collision, investigators received a 911 call from a 42-year-old man who said his car had been burglarized at a mobile home park nearby. The victim told investigators he caught a man matching Sands’ description inside his 2001 GMC Yukon. He said he began to chase the suspect on foot, but he disappeared near the entrance of the mobile home park, so the victim gave up, and went back to his residence to retrieve his car and call the cops.

Investigators said Sands was in possession of a red cup that was stolen from the victim’s car and later determined he committed the burglary.

An investigation into the incident is ongoing. No further details are available at this time.


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