Suspect flees from deputies, causes wreck that sends kids to hospital


PLANT CITY, Fla. (WFLA) — The Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office says a Lithia man fled from deputies Wednesday, causing a rollover wreck that sent three people including two kids to the hospital.

The children, ages 3 and 6, were taken to Tampa General by ambulance. The woman, a passenger in the suspect’s car, was airlifted. Capt. Donald Morris said all three were expected to be okay.

Investigators say just before noon a 911 call came in about possible gunshots at a Plant City home. Deputies arrived to find no shots had been fired. However, they say 27 year old Troy Tatum Jr. still took off in a silver sedan with a woman and two kids inside.

Morris says the women and kids were not restrained.

As Tatum took off, investigators say he swerved and nearly crashed into a deputy’s vehicle head-on.

“He acknowledged to our traffic homicide detectives that he had ingested controlled substances and didn’t remember much of what happened,” Morris said.

Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office

Tatum continued driving with deputies in pursuit. He blew through the intersection of State Road 60 and Smith Ryals Road, crashing into a gold sedan. Both cars were sent flying into a ditch and were virtually destroyed.

Morris said the suspect and the driver of the other vehicle were not injured enough to need hospitalization.

“He was safely wearing his seatbelt and the airbag deployed, which probably saved his life,” Morris said of the other driver.

The Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office tells 8 On Your Side Tatum also has active warrants out of Polk County for drugs and resisting an officer.

Tatum is now facing charges of aggravated assault on a law enforcement officer with a motor vehicle and fleeing to elude. He is being held without a bond.

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