CLEARWATER, Fla. (WFLA) — A woman is dead after a SUV crashed into the Clearwater Primary Care & Aesthetics around midnight, according to police.
The crash also cost the clinic thousands of dollars in medicine that was lost afterwards.
“My wife and I put our life savings into this, our retirement,” owner Eddie Garrido said. “What’s most hurtful to me is all of the meds that we lost because the fire department turned off the power to make sure things were safe, but they did not look inside to see that we had medications.”
Garrido is a physician assistant and his wife is a nurse practitioner. They deal with plenty of sick patients, some lacking health insurance, who need their medical care. and now they have this dilemma that came out of nowhere.
Clearwater police said around midnight, Pedro Castro, 36, was driving his Suzuki SUV east on Court Street near Missouri Avenue when an officer tried to make a traffic stop.
They said the driver made a U-turn and headed west on Court Street, although the officer did not pursue him. Police said at the intersection of Court street and Chestnut street, Castro drove in the wrong direction and directly into traffic.
Investigators said Castro swerved to avoid hitting someone head-on, losing control and eventually hitting the building. Passenger Sasha Hudwalcker Grey, 28, died at the scene.
“I feel really bad for the person that died today,” Garido said. “I don’t have ill will toward anybody. I just wish public safety did better at making sure that our office was secure inside.”
Garrido said they have insurance, but he is not sure how much they will cover or if they will cover anything. For now, it’s just cleaning up for him.
“Home Depot and get some wood and supplies and board up the section and the interior and just make do without that room,” Garrido said.
Police said Castro Is being charged with vehicular homicide and driving with a suspended license. They said he also had a warrant out of Hillsborough county.