Clearwater woman charged in hit-and-run crash

Paula Rowe

CLEARWATER — Police arrested a 47-year-old Clearwater woman about 8:35 a.m. Sept. 26 in connection with a hit-and-run crash on State Road 590 that left two motorcyclists injured.

Paula Rowe was booked into the Pinellas County Jail about 10:23 a.m. on two counts of leaving the scene of a crash with injuries. Bail was set at $10,000. She was released on surety bond about 5 p.m.

According to Clearwater police, Rowe called them just before 8 a.m. Saturday, nearly 12 hours after she crashed into the rear of two motorcyclists.

Police say Rowe told them she left the scene because she was scared. When her car broke down after the crash, she had it towed to her apartment complex on U.S. 19. Rowe’s damaged 2007 BMW has been impounded.

Clearwater Fire & Rescue and Clearwater police responded to the crash just after 8:30 p.m. Sept. 25. Police say two motorcycles were traveling eastbound on State Road 590 and waiting to turn left on Lucas Drive, when Rowe, who also was traveling eastbound, failed to stop and drove her BMW into the rear of both motorcycles.

Police say she stopped after the crash and got out of her BMW briefly before driving away and leaving the two motorcyclists in the road.

One of the motorcyclists, an adult male, identified as Lawrence Eliachar, 62, was taken to Bayfront Health St. Petersburg as a trauma alert with potential life-threatening injuries. He remained in critical condition as of Saturday afternoon. The other motorcyclist was treated on scene by Clearwater Fire & Rescue medics.