TARPON SPRINGS, FL – A sheriff’s deputy in Pinellas County was killed Wednesday afternoon when a driver crashed into his patrol cruiser, reports Fox 13 News.
The Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office announced the death of Deputy Michael Magli following the accident in the vicinity of Eastlake Road and Forelock Road near Tarpon Springs shortly after 4:30 p.m.
Investigators say the driver, 33-year-old Robert Allen Holzaepfel, was intoxicated and was spotted swerving and behaving erratically on Eastlake Road. Magli had put out stop sticks in an attempt to deflate his tires and slow him down. Magli was outside his patrol SUV when Holzaepfel’s vehicle went out of control and crashed into the deputy and his cruiser, according to the sheriff’s office. Magli was pinned under his vehicle and was pronounced dead at the scene.
Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri described Holzaepfel as a “reckless driver”, and said he was arrested following the crash. Gualtieri said Holzaefel was driving with a suspended license and had 16 prior arrests.
Eastlake Road was shut down in both directions after the crash and drivers were advised to avoid the area.
Magli, age 30, was assigned to the Patrol Operations Bureau and had been with the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office since 2013.
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