Two Southwest Florida law enforcement vehicles were involved in crashes Tuesday afternoon.
Around 1:30 p.m., Collier deputies saw a Nissan Altima on southbound lanes of Interstate 75 that matched a description of a vehicle involved in a Lee County burglary, said Michelle Batten, a spokeswoman for the Collier County Sheriff’s Office. The deputies attempted to stop the Nissan, but the car fled, leading the deputies on a pursuit on Alligator Alley, she said.
Near mile marker 86, the Nissan pulled over to the right shoulder and stopped abruptly, according to a report from the Florida Highway Patrol. The deputy pulled beside it, but an approaching semi was unable to avoid the two cars. The semi struck the deputy’s sport utility vehicle, which hit the Nissan, troopers said.
The deputy, Daniel Muhlhahn, 51, of Naples, and the Nissan’s driver, O’Brian Vebert Hunt, 21, of Sunrise, Fla., both were hospitalized with minor injuries. The semi’s driver was not injured.
As of late Tuesday, Hunt was in custody at the Naples Jail Center, according to a jail employee. Batten said she expected he would face a charge of fleeing from an officer.
In a second unrelated crash, a woman in a Chrysler Sebring struck a Lee County Sheriff’s Office vehicle on Cleveland Avenue in Fort Myers around 2 p.m. as she attempted to make a left turn.
The woman and the deputy were taken to Lee Memorial Hospital as a precaution, Fort Myers police said. The Chrysler’s driver will be cited for driving on a suspended license and failure to yield the right of way, according to a news release. Their names were not available as of late Tuesday.