LARGO, Fla – A suspect in a crash under investigation by the Largo Police Department reportedly caused another accident as it fled the scene of the first the night of October 29.
James Gerard Paes, 39 of Lithia, was reportedly under the influence of alcohol when he was involved in an accident in Largo. Paes reportedly was speeding as he traveled southbound on 131st Street North approaching 102nd Avenue North. He was unable to maintain control of his vehicle, a 2017 Nissan Titan, as he overtook another vehicle. Paes’ left front bumper connected with the left rear of the other vehicle, a 1998 Dodge Durango. After this impact, Paes continued southbound on 131st Street briefly.
Paes then collided with the rear of another vehicle, a 2007 Chevy Silverado. The impact caused the Silverado to go off the road, entering the shoulder and finally overturning. Paes’ vehicle continued to the east shoulder, where it collided with a fence at 10206 130th Way North, a property owned by James Boeggeman. When the vehicle came to a stop, Paes exited the vehicle and attempted to flee on foot.
Paes was soon detained by members of the Largo Police Department and transported to Bayfront Medical Center for care of minor injuries sustained in the collisions. He was then arrested upon his release by members of the Florida Highway Patrol for careless driving and leaving the scene of a crash with serious injuries. FHP then delivered Paes to the Pinellas County Jail, where he was booked by Largo Police for the initial crash and by FHP for the second crash. Additional charges by the FHP for driving under the influence are pending.
The driver of the first vehicle Paes hit, 27 year old John Dietrich of Seminole, and his passengers, 34 year old Jeffrey Meier and a 10 year old child, were reportedly uninjured.
Jonathan Specht, 40 of St Petersburg, the driver of the second vehicle Paes collided with, was reported to be in serious condition at Bayfront Medical Center.
James Gerard Paes is reportedly a Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Deputy.