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Deputy Injured in Crash with Elderly Driver

A Pinellas County Sheriff's deputy had his emergency lights and siren turned on, when his cruiser was hit by a 2012 Chrysler 200 driven by an 81 year-old Clearwater man Sunday night, according to investigators.

An elderly Clearwater driver injured a Pinellas County Sheriff's Deputy Sunday night while the officer was trying to follow a driver suspected of committing a traffic violation.

Deputy Jason Howard, 41, was eastbound in the left turn lane of Alderman Road at Belcher Road when he saw a driver commit a traffic violation at 9:33 p.m. The left turn lane had a red light, so Howard turned on his emergency lights and siren and looked to make sure the intersection was clear, according to investigators. As Howard made the left turn, his cruiser was hit by a 2012 Chrysler 200 driven Charles Haenig, 81, of Clearwater. Haenig was driving his car in a southbound lane of Belcher Road at the time of the crash.

Haenig's car hit the driver's side rear door of Howard's cruiser. The deputy was transported by ambulance to a local hospital for non life-threatening injuries. Haeinig suffered minor bumps and bruises, according to investigators.

The Pinellas County Sheriff's Office has not released any information regarding traffic citations in connection with the crash.

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