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.
frankie boy says
was seen falling on his face just minutes before in a parking lot-then got in his car and drove….
I hope the man recovers but I thank God he didn’t hurt anyone else.
Nice Real Nice says
Sounds like New York City over here in the B-Section with all the sirens and helicopters. There was another accident just half hour ago. God only knows what that is about.
Nice Real Nice says
Prayers to Peter. Hope your okay. Take care.
Nancy N says
And now, just hours later, there is another serious accident just yards away on that stretch of Belle Terre. That makes at least three within the last month (the first was the July 4th motorcycle fatality).
Something needs to be done about the constant speeding along that stretch of Belle Terre! Traffic routinely moves 55-60 mph (or more) along that stretch, which is a 45mph zone. I’m tired of getting tailgated (or worse) in my own neighborhood for daring to go less than 5 mph over the speed limit.
Jeff H says
I live there too, just off Bird of Paradise, and I can verify what you’re saying. I drive 45 and get passed constantly. In fact, making a turn off Palm Coast Parkway north onto Belle Terre, people who were behind me on Palm Coast Parkway are already going around and passing me before I even get to the driveway at the Kangaroo!
What is it with people these days?
Derrick R. says
Battery domestic violence guys a real winner for sure but only when he’s been drinking
Another PC Genius in the news
The Truth says
Forgive me, but this asshole deserved what he got. Thankfully, he didn’t injure or kill an innocent person. I can’t help but think if this was during the school year this area would have been much busier. I have no patience for jerks like this. All I can hope for is that he recovers and learns what an idiot he was and changes his ways. Being drunk at 4 PM and then driving home says a lot about you as a person.
Palm Toast says
I swear you can almost expect this crap to happen in this town at any given time. Even when people aren’t drunk or impaired they can’t drive. It is not an exaggerated statement either it’s getting worse reckless cutting off and pulling out in front of, speeding, excessive tailgating, turning corners without signals. This is all happens in the thick of traffic and multiple lights where you really can’t even pick up speed before you reach the next one. Now add the DWI’s in whatever forms they come and this is what we get.
Not stopping for stop signs is epidemic around here. I think the cutting in and out, tailgating and speeding has become much worse since the Matanzas Woods Pkwy bridge over I95 closed. The new interchange is unnecessary because it’s the same distance from the planned commercial area at Matanzas Woods Pkwy and US1 as the existing interchange at US1 and I95. Add in the fact that there are no plans to widen Matanzas Woods Parkway and well, who is the dummy who allowed that new interchange to move forward at this point in time? An instant fix to the rash of accidents on Belle Terre would be to move that speed trap they used to run on Forest Grove to Belle Terre by the fire station. The sheriff could clean up.
The light pole was taught a valuable lesson. Beware of drunks listening to 80’s hits.
I can only wonder if he was listening to Toni Basil.
Oh Ricky you’re so fine, (repeat) Hey Ricky! (repeat chorus)
Jeff H says
Actually, it was Micky. But the guy was drunk, so it probably came out differently.
Oh, great. Now I can’t get that stupid song out of my head. Thanks, Geezer.
You’re right! It is “Mickey.” But remember that I’m a “geezer.”
I do suffer from senior moments from time to time.
Anyway, the link below explains the error…
Sorry to have filled your head with this. If it’s any consolation –
I can’t seem to chase that song out of my head either.
Brad W says
We drove past this yesterday on our way to pick up our grand daughter and saw the car overturned. Thank God no other drivers or pedestrian was injured or killed. That’s a busy road with many people using the sidewalks. Great job to NY Joe’s for reporting this and attempting to stop this person from getting behind the wheel.
Howard Duley says
Thank God, Palm Coast seems to be attracting nothing but high quality citizens. Keep up the good work Palm Coast because without these paragons of virtue we wouldn’t need the sheriff.. Whatever is attracting these high level citizens here lets keep it up.
I know Pete, I really feel bad for him, he’s been battling serious health issues and some other personal problems. I hope he’s ok and that he’ll finally swallow his pride and asks for help. Thank God no one else got hurt, he wouldn’t hurt a fly and wouldn’t be able to live with himself if somebody got hurt.
I’m sure that imbibing alcohol will help a lot with his “serious health issues”–especially if those “health issues” are a result of his alcohol problem to begin with. Alcoholism is a slow and painful way to die…and one hopes that he will get help not to come to such a sad end. If he chooses not to address his problems, one hopes he will not take others down with him.
His problems aren’t alcohol related, by help I meant something else
Nancy N says
Two serious alcohol-related incidents within a month? That’s a problem that needs to be addressed. He got very lucky with this car accident. If he had been driving near someone else and injured them when he crashed, he would be looking at serious prison time. Hopefully this will be a wake-up call that he needs to find a better way than drinking to handle his problems before he kills someone else or himself, or ends up behind bars for a long time.