Chase in Lake County ends in head-on collision with deputy

Walter Kersey faces several charges after chase ends in Minneola neighborhood

By Lisa Bell - Anchor

MINNEOLA, Fla. - A wild chase in Lake County ended in a head-on collision with a deputy in a Minneola neighborhood.

Walter Kersey, 42, is now facing several charges, including fleeing and eluding, grand theft auto, possession of burglary tools, drug charges and aggravated battery on a law enforcement officer.

According to the Lake County Sheriff's Office, the pursuit began around 10:15 p.m. Monday after deputies received a LoJack signal, which alerts officers when a stolen car is nearby.

Deputies said the signal was coming from a white 1999 Mercury Marquis on Hammock Ridge Road driven by Kersey.

According to an arrest affidavit, when a sheriff's cruiser got behind the vehicle, Kersey ran a red light and sped onto Highway 27. Deputies then began pursuing the vehicle for several miles on the highway.

Dashcam video from the Lake County Sheriff's Office shows the Mercury running another red light at Lake Minneola Shores. The vehicle is then driven into the median and heads north in the southbound lanes on Highway 27.

The driver narrowly misses oncoming traffic before turning onto Oak Valley Boulevard, which leads into a residential neighborhood.

Dashcam video shows the Mercury speeding through narrow streets while weaving around parked vehicles until deputies are able to box-in the vehicle. The pursuit ends with the Mercury and a Lake County Sheriff's SUV colliding head-on.

No one was injured in the crash. According to Kersey's arrest affidavit, he stole the vehicle on Sunday in Lakeland. He allegedly admitted to officers he was driving back to Polk County from Ocala and had been siphoning gas from U-Haul dealerships along the way.

Deputies said they found a pry bar, piece of hose, six bottles of gasoline, marijuana and methamphetamine inside the stolen vehicle.

Kersey was booked into the Lake County jail without bond and is scheduled to be arraigned on the charges on Oct. 21.

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