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St. Johns County Sheriff's Office deputy critically injured in crash when responding to assist in search for armed robber

11:36 PM, Nov 16, 2012   |    comments
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SWITZERLAND, Fla. -- A St. Johns County Sheriff's Office deputy suffered serious injuries in a crash Friday morning near the intersection of State Road 13 and Scott Road.

Matthew Sara, Public Information Officer with St. Johns County Fire Rescue said the crash happened at approximately 10:30 Friday morning, trapping the deputy. Sara said by 11:04 Fire Rescue personnel had extricated the deputy from his vehicle.

Emergency personnel wanted to fly the deputy to the hospital, Sara said, but due to inclement weather they were not able to but the deputy was rushed to Shands Jacksonville hospital in serious condition in a trauma vehicle by St. Johns County Fire/Rescue.

SLIDESHOW: Deputy injured in crash, search on for robbery suspect

The deputy's patrol vehicle hit a tree, Sara said, and a second vehicle.

Sara said the other driver was also injured in the crash. That person has been taken to Julington Creek Memorial Hospital with minor injuries.

The Florida Highway Patrol released the deputy's name Friday afternoon. He is 35-year-old Richard Thurmond. As of Friday evening, Thurman's condition was stable.

Sergeant Chuck Mulligan, Public Information Officer for the St. Johns County Sheriff's Office said Thurmond was responding to assist in the search for a suspect after an attempted armed robbery at State Road 13 and County Road 208.

That armed robbery suspect has now been arrested near the area of State Road 16 and I-95.

The Florida Highway Patrol crash report said Thurmond was driving south on State Road 13. As he approached Scott Road, a Pontiac Bonneville being driven by 53-year-old Stacey Pilinko was stopped in the southbound lane of State Road 13 waiting to turn left onto Scott Road.

The report said Thurmond's patrol car rear-ended Pilinko's Pontiac before hitting a tree and a fence on the right grass shoulder.

Thurmond was pinned in his car for approximately 30 minutes before being extricated by Fire/Rescue Crews. 

Pilinko was transported to Julington Creek Memorial with minor injuries by St. Johns County Fire Rescue.

The report said charges are pending staff review.

GOOGLE STREET VIEW OF STATE RD. 13 & SCOTT RD.

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