Deputies say alcohol involved in crash on Causeway Boulevard

Deborah Jean Gillies

DUNEDIN — Pinellas County Sheriff’s deputies arrested a 60-year-old Tarpon Springs woman Sept. 8 in connection with a two-vehicle crash on Causeway Boulevard in Dunedin, just east of Honeymoon Island State Park.

Deborah Jean Gillies was taken to the Pinellas County Jail and booked on two charges of driving under the influence and one count of reckless driving with property damage or injury. She was released on own recognizance.

According to deputies with the sheriff’s Major Accident Investigation Team, an unidentified person called 911 about 7 p.m. to report that a silver colored Honda Insight traveling westbound on Causeway Boulevard in Dunedin was failing to maintain a lane and driving all over the road.

The caller followed the vehicle and reported that the Honda almost struck multiple vehicles head on, almost struck the guardrail and almost struck a pedestrian near Honeymoon Island State Park.

Deputies responded to the Dunedin Causeway and located the silver Honda Insight driving eastbound on Causeway Boulevard leaving Honeymoon Island State Park.

A deputy activated emergency lights and siren and tried initiating a traffic stop on the Honda but the driver did not stop. The Honda then crossed the center yellow line and almost collided with a responding deputy who took an evasive action to avoid a collision.

Investigators say the driver of the Honda crossed the center yellow line a second time and struck the left rear corner of a 2010 Mercedes Benz GL420 being driven by Frank Souza, 59, of Brandon, who was traveling in the same direction on Causeway Boulevard.

Deputies say due to the driver’s extremely dangerous driving, one deputy utilized her marked Chevrolet Tahoe cruiser to make contact with the left rear corner of the Honda. The vehicle contact caused the Honda to stop while a second deputy stopped his marked cruiser in front of the Honda blocking it from driving away.

Deputies made contact with the driver, Gillies, who was the only occupant of the Honda.

Paramedics responded and transported a passenger from the Mercedes Benz, Adriana Souza, 54, of Brandon to a local hospital for non-life threatening injuries. No other injuries were reported.

Investigators say Gillies showed signs of impairment by having bloodshot and watery eyes, and a distinct odor of an alcoholic beverage coming from her mouth. She submitted to a breath sample, which indicated she had a breath alcohol level of .256/.264. In Florida, the legal blood alcohol or breathe alcohol level is.08.

Deputies say when Gillies was interviewed, she admitted to drinking alcohol earlier in the day.