MANATEE COUNTY- What should have been a simple traffic stop in Manatee County leads to two deaths in a violent car wreck.
Thursday Evening a Manatee County Sheriff’s Deputy was running radar on 26th St. and clocked a car going 52 mph in a 30 mph zone.
“The Deputy tries to initiate a traffic stop,” Manatee County Sheriff’s Office Spokesperson Dave Bristow said. “Turns the lights on, well the vehicle just sped away at a high rate speed, and cut down 18th, approaching a six way stop.”
At that point, the Deputy stopped his pursuit.
“There was never a pursuit; he just tried to do a traffic stop,” Bristow said. “When the deputy realized the vehicle was flying away at a high rate of speed, that was it the deputy shut the lights down.”
It was too late, the Driver 23-year-old Sebastien Daniel Antoine, crashed after turning.
“It was an extremely violent crash,” Bristow said. “What we think happened was the vehicle hit a curb approaching a six way stop, and then actually hit a tree and then another tree.”
Antoine was pronounced dead at the scene, and his passenger 20-year-old Rufus Lee Adams IV died at the hospital.
Manatee County Sheriff’s Office Spokesperson Dave Bristow says the crash could have been avoided if they stopped.
“Turns out there were narcotics in the vehicle,” Bristow said. “And the driver of the vehicle was wanted on a warrant out of Sarasota County for failure to appear that may have had something to do with it, obviously it did.”
Bristow says Sheriff’s Deputies will not continue to pursue fleeing cars if it puts other drivers at risk.
“We knew that he was in a residential area,” Bristow said. “And that’s the last thing we wanted to do is have a high-speed chase through a residential area, when it’s still a time that people are out. I mean this is a residential area where this occurred.”