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Deputy's Cruiser Hits Vehicle Driven by Teenager

The deputy was rushing to an emergency, when his marked cruiser struck a Ford Explorer.

A Pinellas County Sheriff's marked cruiser, responding to an emergency call, struck an SUV carrying four teenage girls, including a 17-year-old from Largo.

Jade Palanjay, 18, of Seminole, was driving the Ford SUV after midnight, when it was hit at the intersection of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Street North and 4th Avenue North in Safety Harbor.

She was taken to a local hospital with non-life-threatening injuries, according to the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office.

Her three passengers were not injured. They were identified as:

  • Julia Winsser, 16, of Tierra Vierde
  • Moriah Dennington, 17, of Largo
  • Taylor Arbitton, 17, of Pinellas Park.

Accident investigators from the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office said that the crash occurred at 12:37 a.m., Monday, June 10.

According to investigators, Deputy Nicholas Forgione was driving his marked patrol car north on 4th Avenue North, with the emergency lights activated.

As he drove through the intersection of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Street, the front passenger side of his marked cruiser struck the front driver side of a Ford Explorer traveling west on Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Street.

Neither alcohol nor drugs appears to be a factor in the crash. The investigation continues.

Deputy Forgione, who has been with the department since 2012, was not injured.

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