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[5-5-22] Pinellas Deputy Drives Over Woman on St. Pete Beach, Sheriff’s Office Says

An on-duty Pinellas deputy drove his patrol vehicle over a 23-year-old woman lying on the sand at St. Pete Beach on Wednesday afternoon, according to the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office.

Deputy Todd Brien, 58, was on beach patrol Wednesday. He had parked his fully marked 2017 Chevrolet Tahoe behind The Lido, located at 4450 Gulf Boulevard, and was speaking to several people on the beach when dispatch asked him to check on a 911 hangup call around 1:08 p.m., the agency said in a news release Wednesday night.

Brien turned right and ran over Robin Diffenderfer, who was lying in the sand, the Sheriff’s Office said. Diffenderfer was on her back, and the front driver-side tire drove over her “right side and mid to upper back area.”

She was taken to an area hospital with injuries that are not believed to be life-threatening, according to the release.

Brien was hired by the Sheriff’s Office on Nov. 12, 2013, the release said. He was not injured.

The crash is being investigated by the agency’s Major Accident Investigation Team.


(Credit: Tampa Bay Times)

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If you or a loved one were involved in or affected by this accident and would like the incident’s official Police Report, Personal Injury Attorneys McQuaid & Douglas might be able to help.
Florida continues to be one of the most dangerous states for pedestrian/motor vehicle accidents. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, pedestrian deaths from traffic crashes in the United States are at a 30-year high. Between January 1 and March 3, 2022, Florida has seen ninety-nine pedestrian fatalities as a result of a motor vehicle collision. And while this is an alarming number, the data released by Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicle shows that the number of deaths in 2022 is actually lower than the same time period in 2021. In 2020, motor-vehicle crashes with pedestrian fatalities were the second leading cause of preventable deaths. Sadly, Florida has more metropolitan areas with the highest number of fatalities. 7 of the top 10 metropolitan areas are located in Florida, and Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater ranked #8 nationwide. With numbers like these, the chances of you or a loved one being a victim of a pedestrian/vehicle collision are high. All car accidents have the potential to result in serious injuries, but none more so than an accident involving a pedestrian. Without any protection to the body, even the smallest impact from a vehicle can cause significant, even life-changing injuries.


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