Report: Fleeing suspect causes traffic crash

OKEECHOBEE — A police report details how a local man led an officer on a pursuit in the southwest section of the city Wednesday, then ran into another vehicle carrying two young children.

The report by Sergeant P.C. Eddings, of the Okeechobee City Police Department (OCPD), noted the children and the driver of that second vehicle escaped without serious injury.

Arrested Jan. 4 was Edward Allan Lamarr Pickett, 23, U.S. 441 N.,  on a felony charge of fleeing and eluding a law enforcement officer and a misdemeanor charge of no valid driver’s license.

Edward Pickett

Pickett is being held in the Okeechobee County Jail on a bond of $16,500.
According to the officer’s arrest report the incident began while he and other OCPD officers were directing traffic at the traffic light on South Parrott Avenue at the entrance to Walmart.

While they were handling this situation, OCPD dispatchers told officers about a retail theft at Walmart. They were told to watch for a Chevrolet Impala, four door.

Sgt. Eddings noted another OCPD officer told him a car matching that description had just pulled out of the Walmart parking lot and turned north on Parrott Avenue. The sergeant got behind the car and stopped it in the 100 block of S.W. 17th Street.

The driver of this Chevrolet Impala was arrested after he tried to elude police Wednesday, Jan. 3, and ran into a pickup truck occupied by an adult and two young children after running a stop sign. The driver of the Impala — Edward Allan Lamarr Pickett — is charged with fleeing and eluding a law enforcement officer and for not having a valid driver’s license. Photo by OCPD/Bill Saum.

After initially stopping, the driver of the car put his car in gear and sped away, stated the report.

It was later learned the driver of the car was Pickett, noted the report.
Sgt. Eddings then saw the Chevrolet Impala turn left onto S.W. Third Avenue.

“(With) lights and siren activated, and traveling at speeds well over the posted speed limit of 25 mph, I pursued the vehicle southbound. The suspect vehicle did not stop at the stop sign at S.W. Third Avenue and S.E. 21st Street and continued south at a very high rate of speed,” explained Sgt. Eddings.

As the Impala approached the stop sign at S.W. 28th Street, the sergeant noted there was a vehicle already stopped at that traffic device.

“The suspect vehicle exited his lane of travel and went around the stopped vehicle on the left side, entering the intersection and violating the right of way of (another) vehicle — a 2013 Chevrolet truck,” noted Sgt. Eddings.

The pickup was westbound when the Impala, reportedly driven by Pickett, collided with the truck. The truck was reportedly damaged on the right side and right rear by the impact of the car. After the collision, Sgt. Eddings indicated he went to the Impala and helped Pickett out of the car and placed him in handcuffs.

He then focused his attention on the driver of the truck and the two small children in that vehicle. The report does not state the age of the children, and only described them as small.

Emergency medical personnel was called to the scene, where they examined everyone involved in the crash. No one needed to be taken to a hospital, offered Sgt. Eddings.

The OCPD sergeant went on to point out that the theft case at Walmart is under investigation by OCPD Officer Aurelio Almazan and the accident, which happened in the county, is being investigated by Deputy Joseph Hall of the Okeechobee County Sheriff’s Office.

Eric Kopp is a staff writer for the Okeechobee News

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