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Sunday, Nov 18, 2018
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Drunk driver hits 11 vehicles on I-275, including state trooper's car. No one hurt

ST. PETERSBURG - A drunk driver collided with 11 vehicles along a five-mile stretch of Interstate 275 before he was arrested as he was stopped in traffic after exiting into downtown, the Florida Highway Patrol said.

No one one was injured in the spree, the Highway Patrol said. One of the vehicles hit was a state trooper's patrol car.

Efrain Nunez-Alcantar, 43, of Frostproof, was arrested without incident Friday afternoon at Fourth Avenue NE and Beach Drive and booked into the Pinellas County Jail.

He faces 13 charges, including fleeing or eluding at high speed with wanton disregard, leaving the scene of a crash with property damage, driving under the influence, and possession of methamphetamine.

The Highway Patrol gave this account of the incident:

Authorities received a report at 2:15 p.m. about a hit-and-run collision involving a 1999 Chevrolet van on southbound I-275 just south of Gandy Boulevard.

The suspect, later identified as as Nunez-Alcantar, continued south on the highway and struck several other vehicles. A state trooper attempted to stop the van but the driver kept going, swerving onto the west shoulder to pass vehicles and sideswiping the second state trooper in the patrol car.

The driver exited onto Interstate 375 and continued east on Fourth Avenue NE until he reached Beach Drive, where he was arrested, the Highway Patrol said.

Nunez-Alcantar was arrested on two occasions earlier this year in Polk County on charges including grand theft auto, possession of methamphetamine and trying to bring contraband into a detention center.

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