An automobile travelling west on Newberry Road at the intersection of Highway 27 collided into two concrete barriers in a commercial parking lot, and caught fire this afternoon.
Three Newberry businesses - Pawn Pro, Thrift Newberry, and the Quick Care Walk-in Clinic, are in the two-building plaza in the parking lot where the crash took place. No damage was done to the businesses. All three were closed at the time of the crash.
According to Newberry Fire Chief Ben Buckner, the vehicle was running from a traffic stop by the Alachua County Sheriff's Office that started in Canterbury and ran off the road and hit the two yellow concrete barriers and the sign.
According to Art Forgey, Public Information Officer for the Alachua County Sheriff's Office, the driver of the vehicle was stopped by a Sheriff's Deputy, but then drove off.
"No car chase….. she just decided to drive off from a traffic stop. We were unable to chase her by policy," said Forgey. "A deputy observed this vehicle traveling 77 (miles-per-hour) in a 60 (mph) zone. He stopped the female driver and she promptly provided him with a false name. While trying to sort out her identity, she decided to speed off."
The ACSO has not released the name of the driver, and the investigation is ongoing.
The driver was transported to a medical facility, and charges of Speeding, Careless Driving, Driving While Licence Suspended, Resisting and Fleeing are pending according to Forgey.
This is a breaking news story, and it will be updated as more details are learned.