MAIT Investigation

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

Jee-esta Shurock (Pedestrian – Deceased)
DOB: 04/11/1989

Caroline Dewitt (Driver – Uninjured)
DOB: 07/27/2000
Vehicle: 2013 Honda Accord

Jamar G. Johnson (Driver- Injured/Arrested)
DOB: 11/06/2000
Address: 139 38th Avenue Southeast, St. Petersburg
Vehicle: 2007 Nissan Maxima
Charges: One count of Vehicular Homicide, one count of Fleeing & Eluding, one count of Leaving the Scene of a Crash with Death, and one count of Leaving the Scene of a Crash with Property Damage

What:                            
Deputies assigned to the Major Accident Investigation Team are investigating a fatal pedestrian crash in St. Petersburg. 

When:
The crash occurred at about 9:30 p.m. on July 18, 2019.

Where:
The crash occurred on 5th Avenue North at 20th Street North in St. Petersburg.

Why/How:
Deputies assigned to the Major Accident Investigation Team are investigating a fatal pedestrian crash in St. Petersburg.

According to investigators, at approximately 9:24 p.m., a Violent Crimes Task Force (VCTF) deputy was driving his marked Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office Chevrolet Tahoe in the area of 44th Street North and Park Boulevard in Pinellas Park. While in the area, the deputy observed a tan 2007 Nissan Maxima, driven by 18-year-old Jamar Johnson, missing a tag light and a window tint violation.

The deputy attempted to conduct a traffic stop and activated all of his emergency equipment. The Nissan Maxima driven by Johnson fled from the attempted traffic stop at a high rate of speed.

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

Deputies say Johnson fled eastbound on Park Boulevard, then drove south on I-275. Members of VCTF were able to surveil Johnson from a distance utilizing unmarked vehicles.

Johnson continued southbound on I-275 at a high rate of speed. Deputies from VCTF continued to surveil the Nissan Maxima from a distance with no emergency equipment activated

Deputies say while Johnson was traveling southbound on I-275, he abruptly crossed three lanes of heavy traffic to exit I-275 onto the 5th Avenue North off-ramp, toward 20th Street North.

According to deputies, a 2013 Honda Accord being driven by 18-year-old Caroline Dewitt, was traveling eastbound on 5th Avenue North, when she entered the intersection of 20th Street North with a green traffic light.

Johnson’s vehicle ran the red traffic light at the intersection of 5th Avenue and 20th Street North and struck the front end of Dewitt’s Honda Accord.

The collision sent Johnson’s vehicle into a spin, which struck 30-year-old, Jee-esta J. Shurock, as she was walking eastbound, in the designated crosswalk along the eastbound lanes, at 5th Avenue at 20th Street North.

Johnson fled the scene on foot and was apprehended a short time later.

Shurock was transported to a local hospital where she was pronounced deceased.  

Dewitt did not sustain any injuries.

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

Johnson was charged with one count of Vehicular Homicide, one count of Fleeing & Eluding, one count of Leaving the Scene of a Crash with Death, and one count of Leaving the Scene of a Crash with Property Damage.

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 and the Clearwater Police Department.

Next of kin has been notified.

Speed does appear to be a factor in this case.

The investigation continues.

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

Posted by Jessica Mackesy Friday, July 19, 2019 5:40:00 AM Categories: Vehicle Crashes

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