Pasco County, Florida-- Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri announced with great sympathy the death of Deputy Sheriff Jason Shoulta, who was fatally injured in a motorcycle crash while off duty just after noon today.

According to PCSO, Deputy Shoulta, 43, served with the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office since March 3, 1999.

He was currently assigned to the Patrol Operations Bureau, and in the past he also served as a Bailiff in Court Security and as a member of the SWAT Team, among other assignments.

In a message to all members of the Sheriff's Office, Sheriff Gualtieri said, "Our thoughts and prayers are with Jason's family and friends. There is no sense that can be made of such a tragedy and no words that can make this easier on anyone."

PCSO said the Florida Highway Patrol investigated the crash, which occurred around 12:15 this afternoon in Pasco County at the intersection of Perrine Ranch Road and County Road 77 (Seven Springs Road).

According to the Florida Highway Patrol news release, Deputy Shoulta was driving his 2010 Harley Davidson Street Glider southbound on County Road 77 approaching the intersection with Perrine Ranch Road, when the second driver, Taylor Anne Vanderbilt, traveling northbound, attempted to make a left turn into the gas station at that intersection, and entered into Shoulta's path.

The FHP advised that Shoulta tried to avoid the collision, but struck the right rear section of Vanderbilt's vehicle.

He sustained critical injuries and was transported to Bayonet Point Hospital, where he was pronounced deceased at 1:23 p.m.

The Sheriff's Office critical incident teams are assisting the family and colleagues of Deputy Jason Shoulta.

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