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Carjacking in Pasco County leads to fatal crash, shuts down parts of SR 52

Pasco County carjacking crash
Posted at 2:28 PM, Apr 27, 2019
and last updated 2019-04-29 03:01:57-04

PASCO COUNTY, Fla. — The Pasco County Sheriff's Office is investigating a carjacking that ended in a fatal crash early Saturday morning, leaving parts of State Road 52 shut down for hours.

Florida Highway Patrol (FHP) responded to the crash around 5 a.m. They say a Ford Explorer with a utility trailer attached was driving eastbound on SR 52, approaching the intersection of Nature Trail, when the driver lost control.

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The Pasco County Sheriff's Office says the 74-year-old owner of the vehicle, Hermel Levesque, was unloading items to set up a table for the flea market at St. Marks Church when his vehicle was stolen.

He was still inside, according to the sheriff's office. It's unclear if he was inside the trailer or the vehicle itself, the sheriff's office says.

The vehicle was going east on SR 52 when the driver lost control near Nature Trail, according to the sheriff's office. The vehicle hit a palm tree then overturned, along with the trailer.

The sheriff's office says the contents from the trailer were strewn from the parking lot to the point where the crash occurred.

Levesque was pronounced dead at the scene. Jose Morales, 34, was taken to a local hospital with critical injuries.

According to FHP, Morales was driving. They say charges are pending.