Charges pending against woman after crash in Lakewood Ranch

December 4, 2012 

MANATEE -- Charges are pending against a 30-year-old woman who led a Manatee County sheriff’s deputy on a high-speed chase through Lakewood Ranch Monday night, according to the sheriff’s office.

About 11:22 p.m., a deputy observed a vehicle driven by Michelle Haddad traveling at approximately 65 mph through a red light on State Road 70 at the Lakewood Ranch Boulevard intersection.

As the deputy pursued the vehicle, he observed the car swerve through three lanes before running another red light at Lorraine Road, according to the sheriff’s office.

The deputy attempted initiate a traffic stop to no avail, as Haddad allegedly accelerated her vehicle while swerving from the eastbound lane to the westbound lane.

After passing two vehicles and observing no other vehicle or pedestrian traffic, the deputy engaged in a pursuit, with speeds never exceeding 80 mph, according to the sheriff’s office.

Haddad drove off of the road, continuing eastbound in the grass for just more than a quarter mile. Eventually the vehicle was driven into a ditch, flipping over on its roof.

“We can’t say why exactly she did it,” said Dave Bristow, sheriff’s office spokesman, adding that blood work may show Haddad was under the influence.

Haddad sustained serious injuries, requiring her to be taken to Blake Medical Center as a trauma patient. Haddad was alone in the vehicle, Bristow said.

Neither the deputy, nor occupants of passing vehicles were injured.

The sheriff’s office traffic unit is investigating the crash.

Haddad was listed in stable condition early Tuesday morning, the sheriff’s office reports.

She is expected to recover and will be released from the hospital soon, Bristow said. Detectives were able to interview Haddad Tuesday.

“There is some discrepancy on whether she knew we were chasing her,” he said.

Haddad faces numerous traffic-related charges, but none have been filed, Bristow said.

“It will depend on the test results as far as the DUI,” he said.

Guards are not at the hospital since Haddad is not in the custody of the sheriff’s office.

---- “If we wait, we get her when she’s coming out (of the hospital),” he said. “We may do that since it is not a violent crime. I don’t think there is much chance she will get away.”

The hospital staff is keeping the sheriff’s office updated on Haddad’s condition, and will alert authorities when Haddad is released, Bristow said.

Previously charged with DUI and careless driving, Haddad served time in the Duval County jail in 2003, according to the Duval County Clerk of the Circuit Court’s website.

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