BREAKING: Double Fatality After Vehicle Pursuit, Suspect and Victim Perish
UPDATE: 3:10 P.M. – The Florida Highway Patrol has identified the female victim as Laura Billingsley, 23, of Webster. The suspect who also died in crash is identified as Tony Lavon Warthen, 37, of Brooksville.
UPDATE: 7:13 A.M. – According to a media release from the Hernando County Sheriff’s Office, a deputy was traveling eastbound on Cortez Blvd when the suspect driver nearly struck the deputy and another vehicle head-on.
The suspect driver continued west in the eastbound lanes as the deputy turned around and radioed for assistance. About a minute after the incident, the suspect driver collided head-on with another vehicle near the Ridge Manor Campground. Both drivers died at the scene.
RIDGE MANOR – A head-on collision claimed the lives of two people, after a short pursuit involving a Sheriff’s Deputy came to an end near the intersection of Cortez Blvd and McKethan Road.
According to sources, a white Dodge Challenger fled at a high-rate of speed, westbound in the wrong direction of travel, and collided with a second vehicle near the intersection. The pursuing deputy was not involved in the collision and is not injured.
Fire Rescue is on scene and has confirmed that the suspect driver suffered fatal injuries after he was ejected from the vehicle. One victim in the second vehicle is also confirmed deceased.
Cortez Blvd is expected to be closed in both directions for an extended period of time.
We will bring more on this story as it develops.
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