MAIT Investigation

Who:
Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office
Patrol Operations Bureau
- Major Accident Investigation Team (M.A.I.T.)

Donald Young (Victim – Deceased Driver)
DOB: 11/21/1961
Address: 7645 Sun Island Drive, Apt. 103, South Pasadena  
Vehicle: 2007 black Ford Mustang

John Owa (Arrested Suspect Driver – Minor Injuries)
DOB: 01/13/1990
Address: 2424 11th Avenue South, St Petersburg
Vehicle: 2001 gold Chevrolet Malibu
Charges, Vehicular Homicide, Driving While License Suspended and/or Revoked Causing Injury or Death, Aggravated Fleeing and Eluding Police, and Possession of Marijuana.

What:                            
Deputies assigned to the Major Accident Investigation Team are investigating a two vehicle crash resulting in one fatality. 

When:
The crash occurred at about 4:15 a.m. on Thursday, August 2, 2018.

Where:
The crash occurred at 5th Avenue North and 49th Street North in St. Petersburg.

Why/How:
Deputies assigned to the Major Accident Investigation Team (M.A.I.T) are investigating a two vehicle crash resulting in on fatality.

According to investigators, at approximately 4:15 a.m., a Violent Crimes Task Force (VCTF) deputy was driving his marked Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office Chevrolet Tahoe in the area of 22nd Avenue South and 23rd Street South in St. Petersburg. While in the area, the deputy observed a gold 2001 Chevrolet Malibu, driven by 28-year-old John Owa.

The deputy pulled his cruiser behind the Chevrolet Malibu and ran the tag. The vehicle’s tag showed the driver, John Owa who is the registered owner and the driver of the vehicle, had a suspended driver’s license. The deputy attempted to conduct a traffic stop and activated all of his emergency equipment. The Chevrolet Malibu driven by Owa fled from the attempted traffic stop.

The deputy deactivated his emergency equipment and did not follow or pursue the Chevrolet Malibu. The deputy notified undercover VCTF members that the Chevrolet Malibu fled in the area.

Deputies say Owa fled westbound on 22nd Avenue South. Members of VCTF were able to surveil Owa from a distance utilizing unmarked vehicles.

Owa continued west bound and entered the Child’s Park Area of St Petersburg. Owa continued to drive through the residential neighborhood at slow speeds. Deputies say Owa picked up speed and at one point hit a curb in the residential neighborhood, damaging a tire on the Chevrolet Malibu.

Deputies say Owa made a northbound turn on 49th Street South where he accelerated to approximately 70 mph and drove through at least three intersections with red traffic lights.

Deputies from VCTF continued to surveil the Chevrolet Malibu from a distance with no emergency equipment activated as Owa approached the intersection of 5th Avenue North and 49th Street North in St. Petersburg.

Deputies say a 2007 Ford Mustang being driven by 56-year-old Donald Young, traveling eastbound on 5th Avenue North, entered the intersection of 49th Street North with a green traffic light. A witness told deputies that Owa’s Chevrolet Malibu was traveling northbound in the southbound lanes of 49th Street North when Owa ran the red traffic light at the intersection and struck the passenger side of Young’s Ford Mustang.

Young was treated on scene by EMS and transported to a local hospital where he died as a result of his injuries.  

Next of kin has been notified.

Owa was transported to the hospital for non-life threatening injuries and was then taken to the Pinellas County Jail without incident.

Owa was charged with, Vehicular Homicide, Driving While License Suspended and/or Revoked Causing Injury or Death, Aggravated Fleeing and Eluding Police, and Possession of Marijuana.

The Violent Crimes Task Force (VCTF) is a county-wide, multi-jurisdictional task force that focuses on violent crime in Pinellas County. The task force is comprised of law enforcement officers from the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office, St. Petersburg Police Department and the Clearwater Police Department.

The investigation continues.

The booking photo of Owa is not available at this time. 

Posted by Dan Difrancesco Thursday, August 2, 2018 1:38:00 PM Categories: Vehicle Crashes

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