Wesley Chapel, Florida -- A Pasco County Sheriff's Deputy was seriously injured in a hit and run crash overnight. Investigators say they now have several people in custody.
The accident happened at State Road 54 and Loury Drive around 4:20 a.m. as a Ford F-150 pickup truck swerved into oncoming traffic and smashed into Deputy Darren Hill's cruiser head-on. Hill, 29, was airlifted to St. Joseph's Hospital with two broken legs.
Investigators began a manhunt for the driver of the truck, who fled the scene on foot.
"Thank God our deputy is alive after a horrific crash," Pasco Sheriff Chris Nocco said.
The deputy was able to trigger an emergency alert signal in his vehicle after the crash.
Nocco says Hill, who will celebrate his second anniversary as a Pasco deputy on January 9, is in good spirits and is expected to make a full recovery.
Suspect, family arrested
Sheriff Nocco says investigators have been able to piece together the events that led up to Wednesday's early-morning crash.
A New Year's party was underway at a home in Land O'Lakes when the suspect, 25-year-old Bertin Jaimes, got into an argument with his wife, Glabys Patty Soto.
Jaimes allegedly got into the red Ford F-150 and drove away, intending to go to his brother's house. It was during this trip that Nocco says Jaimes swerved into oncoming traffic, hitting Deputy Hill's vehicle.
Jaimes got out and on foot managed to get to his brother Jose Carmen Jaimes' home. Sheriff Nocco says that remarkably, Bertin Jaimes had only minor injuries after the crash.
Jose Jaimes and his wife Jasmine Sanchez Aquirde then allegedly transported Bertin Jaimes back to the home in Land O'Lakes, where the party had taken place.
Sheriff Nocco described the three family members as being "extremely" uncooperative with detectives, even laughing at detectives' questioning.
Ultimately, the Pasco Sheriff's Office arrested Soto, Aquirde and Jose Jaimes on charges of obstruction.
FHP troopers were able to locate Bertin Jaimes and take him into custody.
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