Hit and Run Injures Deputy in Clearwater

Hit and Run Injures Deputy in Clearwater


From time to time, personal injury attorneys have the experience of having to hearing about a friend or acquaintance involved in an automobile crash. Because we see so many crashes, it is always worrisome to see a person we knew before the crash and it hits a little closer to home.

Today’s blog is relating to a recent pedestrian v. car collision involving one of our bailiffs over in the Clearwater Courthouse. Of course, we all wish him a speedy recovery.

While I spend the majority of my time at the Saint Petersburg, Courthouse, I am sure I have seen s Deputy Atchison at least a few times. News reports indicate that he was on his way to work on Friday, crossing Court Street at the crosswalk. He had a smile on his face and happy it was Friday, until a vehicle making a right hand turn from Osceola Avenue onto Court Street struck him.

I hear that a witness approached and confronted the vehicle’s driver a 32-year-old Alejandra Manzo. Apparently, the witness advised the female driver that she had just struck a deputy and needed to stop. The driver ignored the warning and took off for work.

Shortly afterwards, deputies began searching for Manzo’s vehicle and finally located it at 23 Rockaway Street in Clearwater Beach where she worked at a nearby restaurant. She was quickly arrested for leaving the scene of a crash with injuries, driving with a suspended/revoked license with knowledge and also cited for failing to yield to a pedestrian in a crosswalk.

Deputy Atchison was transported to Morton Plant Hospital for treatment of non-life threatening injuries. He was treated for a knee injury and released to recover at home.
Employees of the court house have frequently mentioned how dangerous this intersection is, and their wish for something to be done about it. Apparently, the flashing lights and pedestrian crosswalks are not enough. Maybe Friday’s incident will reignite the debate.

I have heard that some are giving serious consideration to a raised crosswalk. It would allow pedestrians to avoid traffic by walking over the street if they like. As always, the costs do need to be considered in this time of cutbacks, but the costs climb when one of our friends is injured like this.

Our thoughts go out to Deputy Atchison and we wish for your speedy recovery. As for all the others at risk crossing that intersection, please be careful.