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Courts / Law

Pasco Deputy Injured, Hit-and-Run Suspect Arrested in New Year's Crash

A man who struck a Pasco County sheriff's vehicle and injured a deputy before fleeing the scene is now in custody and faces multiple charges.

The Tampa Bay Times reports 25-year-old Bertin Jaimes of Zephyrhills left a New Year's Eve party at a Land O' Lakes home early Wednesday. Shortly after 4 a.m., the pickup truck he was driving allegedly drifted over the center line on State Road 54 near Loury Drive in the Wesley Chapel area and struck a deputy's cruiser.

Unable to speak after being hit, Deputy Darren R. Hill, 29, managed to activate an emergency button on his radio and summon help. He was airlifted to St. Joseph's Hospital, where he was being treated for two broken legs and internal injuries.

Jaimes fled the scene on foot, which led deputies to call police dogs in to search for him. He was arrested after 11 a.m. Wednesday morning at the Land O'Lakes home where the New Year's party had taken place.

The Florida Highway Patrol reports Jaimes has been charged with leaving the scene of a crash involving serious injury, driving with an expired license and driving left of the center line. Tests are also being conducted to see if alcohol was a factor in the crash.

In addition, three of Jaimes' family members were arrested and charged with obstruction: his wife, Gladys Patricia Soto; his brother, Jose Carmen Jaimes; and his brother's wife, Jazmin Sanchez Aquirde.