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Monday, Sep 24, 2018
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Man accused of crashing U-Haul into St. Pete Beach hotel, flees

Times Staff

ST. PETE BEACH — A 32-year-old man was arrested Friday morning after deputies said he crashed a U-Haul into a hotel parking garage.

At 12:49 a.m., Pinellas County Sheriff's Office deputies received reports of a U-Haul striking Hotel Zamora, 3701 Gulf Blvd. Witnesses told deputies a person driving a U-Haul had damaged the parking garage drop ceiling.

Deputies later stopped a truck driving north on Gulf Winds Drive at 64th Avenue with roof damage, and driver Edgar A. Hidalgo of Sarasota admitted to the crash. Hidalgo told deputies that he was driving the passenger, Shawn L. Whiting, to her car in the hotel parking lot when he hit it. Instead of staying, he fled the area.

He had the U-Haul in the first place because Hidalgo said he was planning on moving to Miami that morning.

Hidalgo was arrested and faces charges of leaving the scene, DUI and possession of cocaine.

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