Pinellas County deputy crashed into elderly man's vehicle, officials say

A Pinellas County deputy rear-ended another vehicle as she was responding to an emergency call, officials said.

On Thursday, just after 9 p.m., Deputy Melanie Leib was traveling in her marked patrol car, a 2015 Chevrolet Tahoe, heading eastbound on 18th Avenue South. Investigators with the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office said her emergency lights and sirens were activated as she responded to a call for a suspect who fled from deputies.

Investigators said 76-year-old Mack Anderson stopped his 2005 Hyundai Elantra in the right lane near 1856 18th Avenue South to yield to emergency lights.

Officials said Deputy Leib was following another deputy’s vehicle. That deputy stopped to make a northbound turn from 18th Avenue South onto 19th Street South, however, Deputy Leib couldn’t stop in time. Investigators said she swerved to avoid a collision with the deputy’s patrol car, but ended up crashing into the rear of Anderson’s vehicle. 

Anderson was taken to a nearby hospital with minor injuries and has since been released from the hospital. Deputy Leib was not injured. 

Officials said speed and impairment don’t appear to be factors in the crash, but they are continuing to investigate.