Run a stop sign, drive off a cliff
It's midnight. Benjamin Vandermeir sees the stop sign but ignores the bright red octogon that his headlights momentarily illuminate, before passing by -- without stopping. A deputy on patrol sees the incident and gives chase, but some quick thinking and a lead foot allows the suspect to escape on 40th street. He misses a turn on Lown street, barrels through a chain link fence, and flies down a ravine.
Emergency workers helped remove the 22-year-old from his 1990 Red Ford Thunderbird and took him to Bayfront Medical Center for treatment.
"Our rescue units accessed the situation and realized we were going to need the tech rescue team, the Pinellas County heavy rescue team, to come out to help extradite the patient," said Chief Richard Porter of the Lealman Special Fire Control District. "They had to cut the doors off with the Jaws of Life."
Vandermeir, of 5650 11th Ave. N., had his license revoked for five years in July, deputies said. He is charged with fleeing and eluding and with being a habitual traffic offender, both felonies.