Hillsborough County
David Gee, Sheriff
Tampa, FL
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    Release Number: 12-132

    • For Immediate Release:
    • Public Information Office of Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office
    • April 16, 2012
    • Contact Person:
    • Larry McKinnon : lmckinno@hcso.tampa.fl.us
    • 813/247-8094

    HCSO Deputy Narrowly Escapes Death After Struck By Drunk Driver

    Driver was arrested for Driving Under the Influence with Property Damage.
    • Monday
    • April 16, 2012
    • Time: 1:00 AM
    • Bearss Avenue
    • Tampa, Florida

    Arrested:


    Angel R. Pena
    DOB: 4/20/1969
    2324 W. Knollwood Place
    Tampa, Florida

    Charges:

    • DUI with Property Damage
    • Refusal to Submit to Breath/Blood Test

    HCSO Vehicle Struck By Drunk Driver:

     

    Deputy Involved:

    HCSO Deputy Juan Lazu
    Age 47
    10 year veteran
    Assigned to Uniform Patrol District 1

    Details:

    On April 16, 2012, at approximately 1:00 a.m., a 2001 Ford Excursion driven by Angel Pena was traveling eastbound on Bearss Avenue in the westbound lanes, just west of the Jimmy B. Keel Library (2902 W. Bearss Avenue).

    The Ford Excursion traveling without any headlights illuminated left the roadway and drove onto the grass median; striking a small tree with the right front of the vehicle. The Excursion continued eastbound to the end of the grass median and back onto Bearss Avenue still traveling eastbound in the westbound lanes.

    Deputy Juan Lazu was on routine patrol operating a marked HCSO patrol vehicle
    (2011 Crown Vic) traveling westbound on Bearss Avenue in the inside lane when his vehicle was struck nearly head on by the Ford Excursion. Deputy Lazu did not see the Ford Excursion approaching until just prior to impact.

    After impact, the patrol vehicle rotated in a counter clockwise direction coming to rest approx 45 feet from the area of impact, partially in the median. Deputy Lazu was trapped in the vehicle but was able to call for help on his radio. Additional deputies quickly responded to the scene and were able to pull Deputy Lazu from his vehicle moments before both vehicles exploded and consumed by fire.

    Deputy Lazu suffered minor injuries from the crash and was transported to Florida Hospital and is expected to fully recovery and return to full duty.

    Angel Pena who had a very strong odor of alcohol at the time of the crash, was transported to St. Joseph's Hospital complaining of injury. Once he was medically cleared and released, deputies arrested Pena and transported him to the Hillsborough County Jail.
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