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Drunk Driver Injures County Commissioner in Three Vehicle Crash

BROOKSVILLE – Hernando County Commissioner Diane Rowden and her husband Jay Rowden both sustained minor injuries Saturday, after a drunk driver rear-ended their car at the intersection of Cortez Blvd and Mariner Blvd.

According to officials, Rowden was traveling westbound on Cortez Blvd in her Toyota Prius, preparing to stop at the intersection behind a SUV. A third vehicle driven by 69-year-old Carolyn Marie Schrest was following behind Rowden and failed to stop. As a result Schrest collided with the rear of Rowden’s vehicle, causing it to propel forward into the SUV.

Diane and her Husband were both transported to Oak Hill Hospital for treatment and later released with only minor injuries.

Schrest and the driver of the SUV were not injured in the crash.

During an investigation by the Florida Highway Patrol, it was soon determined that Schrest was under the influence of alcohol or drugs. A bottle of Whisky and several beer cans were found strewn through the vehicle, confirming that Schrest had been drinking and driving.

Schrest was taken into custody and booked into the Hernando County Jail on charges of DUI, DUI with Property Damage (4 counts) and Driving on a Suspended License.

Schrest was released the following day on a $2,750 bond.

We spoke to Diane Rowden, who said “that is one of the most dangerous intersections in Hernando County.” She went on the praise the hard work of Fire Rescue and Law Enforcement, who responded to the scene that day.

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  • True. It just appears that way from all her face lifts.

    Sunday, 10 May 2015, 8:59 pm
  • Perhaps if Rowden wasn’t driving around with her nose in the air, she would notice that this county has car dealerships that sell American cars.

    Sunday, 10 May 2015, 8:35 pm
  • Busch tall boys come in 4 packs so that’s equivalent to 4 and a half beers over the limit if she drank them in succession being there’s one left in the picture just saying

    Thursday, 7 May 2015, 7:40 pm
  • Whisky might be unopened but where are the other 5 that go with that 6 pack? She probably needed a refill on the whiskey that was bottle #2 THANK GOD no one was killed

    Thursday, 7 May 2015, 6:23 pm
  • Yup…..its everywhere. Drugs and drinking. Then loss of a life or two.
    And about grandma’s donkey…….. That’s what she needs to drive from now on.

    Thursday, 7 May 2015, 12:34 pm
  • Just how many soccer moms and others do you think are driving around the county under the influence of DRUGS! Coupled with the 2 for 1 drink specials at local restaurants that the snow birds flock to during season and other all year round you have an epidemic of impaired drivers on the roads.

    Wednesday, 6 May 2015, 9:24 pm
  • I wasn’t concerned about names just their condition.

    Wednesday, 6 May 2015, 5:08 pm
    • It said they weren’t hurt.

      Thursday, 7 May 2015, 4:58 pm
  • Its not illegal or unlawful to transport a bottle of whiskey that is sealed. Showing a pic of a unopened bottle is just to beef up the story. She may have under the influence, but it definitely wasn’t from a full bottle of whiskey.

    Wednesday, 6 May 2015, 4:07 pm
  • Ok, so how long have we been enforcing stricter and stricter drunk driving laws? 50 years? Longer? Not exactly a great example of use of enforcement. Evidently, after all these years, people don’t agree with the law, at least don’t agree that it should apply to them. Maybe there are just too many laws to enforce evenly and fairly. so we arbitrarily enforce all laws, making them an instrument of abuse as much as any concensus of the governed.

    Wednesday, 6 May 2015, 12:21 pm
  • I wish we got someone in office that would bring back bread and water to these folks. Then we could afford to keep people in our jails! I bet if they weren’t treated with 3 star treatment they wouldn’t come back!

    Wednesday, 6 May 2015, 11:34 am
  • It doesn’t look like that bottle has ever been opened…

    Wednesday, 6 May 2015, 9:42 am
  • I can sympathize with Diane and Jay. But I have to admit at a chuckle as to the location, the intersection should have been reengineered before the shopping area to the south west was ever approved by the county…not after its built.

    Wednesday, 6 May 2015, 9:28 am
    • ^^^^amen!

      Friday, 8 May 2015, 9:10 pm
  • Well, I am glad no one was hurt but its never a sad day when you see a Prius taken off the highway. Annoying little cars with even more annoying drivers. Just saying. As for the DUI, no excuse granny. You know better! In all seriousness, glad nobody was seriously injured.

    Wednesday, 6 May 2015, 9:05 am
  • Its unfortunate when things like this happen, I’m glad the Rowdend and the people in the. Suv where not seriously injured. The penalty for the drunk should be more severe,as is she probably doesn’t have insurance.
    Unfortunately, Mrs. Rowden will politicize the. Intersection to her advantage for the next election cycle.

    Wednesday, 6 May 2015, 8:47 am
  • And at that age, you already know she’s been doing it for a while. Just has gotten lucky. But nope……they dont change and she will be right back at there again.

    Wednesday, 6 May 2015, 8:09 am
  • $2750 bond?! Really….that’s not enough. So she can do it again & this time kill someone?!

    Wednesday, 6 May 2015, 7:16 am
  • She shouldn’t have been released , smh , useless drunks

    Wednesday, 6 May 2015, 2:09 am
  • I facilitate a concussion group a ( traumatic brian injury) support group in town. If you notice symptoms that are difficult to understand…please contact us on TBI of Hernando face book.

    Wednesday, 6 May 2015, 12:39 am
  • Stupid, Stupid, Stupid – Only when you kill someone will you lose your desire to “Bottle” up — taking away her license doesn’t matter – she will drive without it. Put her in jail – does she look as though she cares – send her to AA – and she will have a sob story to tell – my father molested me – my husband doesn’t care for me, I only had one sip

    Make her stand on the corner of Cortez and Mariner with a sign stating what she has done – Make her do it for 6 months – maybe she will think about it while she is waving her “atonement” .

    Tuesday, 5 May 2015, 11:17 pm
  • The profile is always the same–suspended license and under the influence–and out on bail ready to “strike” again.

    Tuesday, 5 May 2015, 10:41 pm
  • Yup not shocked and guess what! She will be driving again in a week. The law enforcement system is just broken.

    Tuesday, 5 May 2015, 10:17 pm
    • “law Enforcement system is just broken” What? It is the the lady that drove drunk! As I read it Law Enforced with an arrest! Did you mean the judge? I really don’t understand why everything falls on a LEO. They go out and enforce laws that “we” the people make and then “some” break, then it goes to a judge that “we” put in office that tells them they can go home…hmmmmm

      Wednesday, 6 May 2015, 11:30 am
  • 69 year old lady driving drunk, Unbelievable, You can’t make this stuff up.

    Tuesday, 5 May 2015, 8:56 pm
  • Grandma has been hitting the corn mash again before she got behind the wheel!!

    Grandma, you know better then to hit the mash and drive!!
    We had the same problem with her taking the donkey out of the yard drunk!

    Tuesday, 5 May 2015, 7:59 pm
  • Grandma should’ve been driving a party bus, she wasn’t playing no games

    Tuesday, 5 May 2015, 7:45 pm
  • yes only in spring hill because this never happens anywhere else ever

    Tuesday, 5 May 2015, 7:13 pm
    • you all need to get out of the house more often then

      Wednesday, 6 May 2015, 9:38 am
  • Why wasn’t the person in the SUV mentioned? Are they not as important as Diane Rowden? Honestly, that woman is a waste of space in this world. The women that drove under the influence shame on you. Hopefully she will get help.

    Tuesday, 5 May 2015, 7:12 pm
    • Mrs. Taylor, Did it ever occur to you maybe the people in the SUV did not want their names in the news?????

      Wednesday, 6 May 2015, 4:25 pm
  • hard core

    Tuesday, 5 May 2015, 6:38 pm
  • 69 yr old women a friggin bottle on the friont seat,unbelievable only in spring hill.

    Tuesday, 5 May 2015, 6:37 pm
    • Sadly my friend ,it’s not ONLY Spring Hill, it’s all over this country

      Tuesday, 5 May 2015, 9:42 pm

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