Deputy’s patrol car totaled in crash on I-75

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An Alachua County deputy escaped injury when his patrol car, parked in an emergency lane on Interstate 75, was hit by another car during rain early Monday morning.

The Alachua County Sheriff’s Office and the Florida Highway Patrol said Sgt. Scott Ulrich was outside his patrol car while responding to another crash at 6 a.m. when his car was demolished.

Details about the original crash were not immediately available from the FHP.

According to the National Weather Service, a storm cell moving across the region at the time appeared to be dumping 2 to 3 inches of rain, which may have been a factor in the accidents.

Ulrich has been an Alachua County deputy since December 1996, and his patrol vehicle was a 2007 Crown Victoria, according to the Sheriff’s Office.

FHP Trooper Keith Davis said the other vehicle involved in the crash was a four-door 2003 BMW being driven by Nevada Tawanna Bass, 34, of Georgia. Bass and a passenger in the BMW, Ursula Germaine Twyman, 39, of Lauderdale, were taken to North Florida Regional Medical Center for treatment of minor injuries, Davis said.

In a news release about the crash, Davis said Ulrich had properly parked the patrol car with its emergency lights activated in the west emergency lane of southbound Interstate 75.

Ulrich was on the freeway responding to an earlier, multiple-vehicle crash near mile marker 391, which is about a mile north of the 39th Avenue interchange, when his car was struck. No additional details on the wreck were immediately available.

Davis said no other injuries were reported.

All three southbound lanes were blocked for more than 90 minutes. Drivers going south were detoured off the interstate at U.S. 441 until the southbound lanes had been cleared, Davis said.

Charges were pending further investigation.

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