It is with regret and deep sympathy that Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri announces the death of Deputy Sheriff Jason Shoulta, who was fatally injured in a motorcycle crash while off duty just after noon today, April 27, 2012.
Deputy Shoulta has been with the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office since March 3, 1999, and was 43 years old. He was currently assigned to the Patrol Operations Bureau, and has also served as a Bailiff in Court Security and was a member of the SWAT Team, among other assignments.
In a message to all members of the Sheriff’s Office, Sheriff Gualtieri said, “Our thoughts and prayers are with Jason’s family and friends. There is no sense that can be made of such a tragedy and no words that can make this easier on anyone.”
The Florida Highway Patrol investigated the crash, which occurred around 12:15 this afternoon in Pasco County. The location was the intersection of Perrine Ranch Road and County Road 77 (Seven Springs Road).
According to the Florida Highway Patrol news release, Deputy Shoulta was operating his 2010 Harley Davidson Street Glider southbound on County Road 77 approaching the intersection with Perrine Ranch Road.
The second driver, identified as Taylor Anne Vanderbilt, was driving her vehicle northbound on County Rd. 77. According to the FHP, Vanderbilt attempted to make a left turn into the gas station at that intersection, and in so doing, had entered directly into the path of the Jason Shoulta.
The FHP advised that Shoulta tried to avoid the collision, but struck the right rear section of Vanderbilt’s vehicle. Jason Shoulta sustained critical injuries and was transported to Bayonet Point Hospital.
He was pronounced deceased at 1:23 p.m.
The Sheriff’s Office critical incident teams are assisting the family and colleagues of Deputy Jason Shoulta.
An agency photo is attached.
For further information regarding the crash investigation, please contact Sgt. Steve Gaskins with the Florida Highway Patrol.