Woman charged with DUI after leading Manatee deputies on brief chase

MANATEE -- A 56-year-old woman suspected of driving drunk was arrested after she led deputies on a brief pursuit and crashed into a tree and a telephone pole in Bradenton, according to the Manatee County Sheriff's Office.

Deputies tried to make a traffic stop on Dede Clark of Bradenton, after they saw her at 2:47 a.m., slowly trying to cross the intersection of 14th Street West and Cortez Road against a red light. A deputy who pulled alongside Clark reported that she appeared to be slumped over the wheel, according to a news release.

When the deputy activated his siren, Clark began driving her truck north on 14th Street West, slowly gaining speed to about 40 mph and deputies began a pursuit, according to the report.

Clark drove over the median a couple of times, striking a tree, and continued until she veered into a telephone pole at 36th Avenue West and stopped, according to the sheriff's office.

Clark, who suffered a scratch to her face, was arrested on charges of DUI and fleeing to elude. She was being held at the Manatee County jail on bonds totaling $1,500.