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Pinellas County deputy hit by car while at a traffic stop in Dunedin

Pinellas County Sheriff's Office
Posted at 8:16 AM, Sep 23, 2021

A Pinellas County deputy was hit by a car during a traffic stop in Dunedin, authorities say.

According to investigators, a deputy assigned to the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office DUI Unit conducted a traffic stop on a white Ford van at Skinner Boulevard and Highland Avenue. The vehicle stopped in the center left turn lane on Skinner Boulevard.

Deputy Elizabeth Temple approached the driver's side of the stopped vehicle on foot. Investigators say that while speaking to the driver, Deputy Temple noticed a vehicle traveling eastbound on Skinner Boulevard, heading toward her.

Investigators say Deputy Temple tried to get out of the way of the vehicle, but it struck her with the driver's side rearview mirror.

The driver continued eastbound without stopping and deputies began to search for the vehicle.

During the course of the investigation, deputies were able to identify the vehicle and the driver as 32-year-old Jonathan Chinchilla.

With the assistance of the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office Flight Unit, the vehicle was located at Chinchilla's home, unoccupied. After several attempts, deputies were able to make contact with Chinchilla at his residence.

He was arrested and charged with leaving the scene of a crash involving injury.

According to investigators, impairment appears to be a factor in the crash.

Deputy Temple was taken to the hospital with minor injuries.

The Pinellas County Sheriff's Office would like to remind citizens of the Move Over Law. Please remember to move over a lane, when you can safely do so, for stopped law enforcement and emergency vehicles. If you can't move over, or when on a two-lane road, slow to a speed that is 20 miles per hour less than the posted speed limit.