Palm Coast Man, 35, Injured as Car Shears Off Light Pole and Overturns on Belle Terre Parkway
FlaglerLive | August 3, 2015
Last Updated: 6:51 p.m.
A single-vehicle wreck shut down both northbound lanes of Belle Terre Parkway north of Bird of Paradise at 4:19 p.m. when a driver lost control of his vehicle and struck a concrete light pole, overturning his vehicle and felling the light pole.
Flagler County Fire Flight, the emergency helicopter, landed on Belle Terre to transport Peter Slusarz, a 35-year-old resident of Palm Coast’s F-Section, but ended up not doing so. Slusarz was transported by ground to Halifax hospital in Daytona Beach.
Shortly before the crash, the Flagler County Sheriff’s Office got a report from employees at Joe’s Pizza, the restaurant on Palm Coast Parkway, informing dispatch that they had tried to take the keys away from a driver who was leaving their restaurant, because they thought he was drunk. They’d been unsuccessful. The man left in a vehicle that matched the description of the one that soon after overturned on Belle Terre, Jim Troiano, the sheriff’s office’s chief spokesman, said.
Slusarz was driving an older-model gray Hyundai Sonata. He was just north of Bird of Paradise–immediately across from Indian Trails Middle School to the west and First Hispanic Baptist Church to the east–when he lost control. Tire marks indicate the car began swerving from the left lane to the right in a 25-yard arc, straight into the light pole. Troiano said witnesses saw the driver swerving on his way up the Parkway, “at a very high rate of speed.” He hit an object in the median before swerving and hitting the light pole.
The car jumped the curve and struck the light pole, shearing it almost loose from the base, though it remained attached only through its metal cables. The light fixture itself ended up in the median of the road. The car came to rest on its roof, amid concrete debris and several audio CDs that had been ejected from the car, facing north.
Slusarz was ejected, and was found in the ditch, on the east side of the road.
Traffic was still being diverted onto Bird of Paradise at 5:40 p.m. A Florida Power and Light utility truck had arrived on the scene at 5:30 p.m.
The Palm Coast Fire Department and Flagler County Fire Rescue responded. The Flagler County Sheriff’s Office is investigating the wreck–though the Florida Highway Patrol was briefly at the scene–and the Palm Coast Fire Police was controlling traffic.
A Saxon’s tow truck had removed the vehicle off the ground by 5:45 p.m. and fire crews were spraying the road surface after sopping up fuel and oil leaks. The road was reopened just after 6 p.m.
“We’re conducting a regular investigation in the matter plus we’ll conduct a criminal investigation to determine whether alcohol was involved in the crash,” Troiano said. Slusarz was arrested three weeks ago on a domestic battery charge, a first-degree misdemeanor. The State Attorney’s Office filed that charge today.
The battery charge was the result of an alleged altercation between Slusarz and his wife on July 9 when, returning from the gym, his wife found him drunk and tried to take a jug of wine away from him, according to his arrest report. His wife told police that he’d pulled her hair, struck her in the chest and threatened to kill her if she called police, and on another occasion kicked her in the leg while she slept.
In late evenings, authorities were called to the same spot, but on the opposite side of the road, for another, unrelated roll-over.