Driver fleeing traffic stop causes fatal Sumter County crash, troopers say

Second man sought in connection with crash

By Adrienne Cutway - Web Editor , Jennifer Ortega - Reporter

SUMTER COUNTY, Fla. - A driver fleeing a traffic stop in Sumter County caused a deadly four-vehicle crash Tuesday afternoon, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.

The driver was later identified as Anthony Nepoleon Brown, 27, of Ocala. He has been charged with the felony possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, and he was booked into the Sumter County Jail after an AK-47 rifle was found after the crash, troopers said.

The incident began when Wildwood Police Department officers tried to pull over a white 2007 BMW at 1:32 p.m., the FHP said. Brown refused to stop and instead sped off, heading north on County Road 219, a news release said.

“I saw the helicopter flying over and over and a lot of traffic on the road,” said a woman who lives in the area.

Brown ran through a stop sign at an intersection of State Road 44 and struck a 2002 Honda SUV, which overturned and came to a stop in the road. The 55-year-old woman from Inverness who was driving the SUV, Laura Lee Price, died at the scene, according to troopers.

The BMW rotated and sideswiped a 2016 Chevrolet truck. Brown then attempted to flee and hit a 2014 Mack tractor-trailer, the report said.

The tractor-trailer was driven by Eugene Randolph Jr., 53, of Jacksonville, the FHP said.

The BMW came to a final stop partially underneath the tractor-trailer. Both men who were in the BMW tried to run away, the news release said.

Brown was arrested and authorities are still attempting to locate the second man. He is described as having hair in braids or dreadlocks and was wearing black-and-red shorts and a white T-shirt.

People who live nearby are now on edge.

"I think it's terrible (and) frightening because it might be someone you know -- because it was in this neighborhood," one neighbor said.

Anyone with information concerning the man's whereabouts is asked to contact authorities or Crime Stoppers.

The Wildwood Police Department, which was involved in the pursuit leading up to the crash, issued a statement Thursday afternoon.

"The Wildwood Police Department is deeply saddened by this event our hearts and prayers go out to the family of the victim."

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