Nov. 16--A St. Johns County deputy has been hospitalized in serious condition after crashing while responding to an armed robbery call that ended with three people in custody.
The single occupant of a second vehicle also had serious injuries in the crash in the 1700 block of North Florida 13 near the San Juan Del Rio Catholic Church in Northwest St. Johns County, according to the St. Johns County Sheriff's Office.
Dustin Layne Vann, 26, of Fort Lauderdale, Zachary James Shull, 18, of Mississippi, and Samantha Shante Lindsay, 18, of Idaho, were booked into the St. Johns County Jail Friday evening on a variety of charges, according to the Sheriff's Office.
The crash occurred just after 10:30 a.m. as Deputy Richard Thurmond, 35, was responding to a robbery call in the Vintage Oaks subdivision of Florida 13. Thurmond, who was southbound and had his emergency lights and siren activated, struck the rear of a southbound car stopped to make a turn, according to the Florida Highway Patrol. The car, driven by 53-year-old Stacey Pilinko of St. Johns, was pushed aside and Thurmond crossed the road shoulder and hit a tree. Both were wearing seat belts.
Thurmond was in the car about 30 minutes being extricated, according to St. Johns County Fire Rescue. He suffered leg injuries and was transported to Shands Jacksonville, said spokesman Kevin Kelshaw of the Sheriff's Office.
Pilinko was transported to Baptist Medical Center South.
Kelshaw said Thurmond was traveling to the scene as a backup in the robbery call.
Deputies were called to Vintage Oak Circle when a woman walking her dog said two men in a pickup approached her with guns and demanded money. The woman said she didn't have any and the men, identified as Shull and Vann, left in a car.
The couple was arrested minutes later when they ran into the woods after abandoning the car at a nearby convenience store, Kelshaw said. Vann drove off in the car as deputies arrived and crashed in the 10600 block of County Road 13. He also ran into nearby woods, then stole a pickup truck from a home on County Road 208, according to the Sheriff's Office. The truck was spotted by deputies an hour later at a Kangaroo convenience store on Florida 16 near Interstate 95 and Vann was arrested inside, Kelshaw said.
Vann was charged with aggravated fleeing, attempted armed robbery, auto theft and violation of probation. Shull was charged with attempted armed robbery and Lindsay with principle to armed robbery. All three face other felony charges in South Florida, Kelshaw said.
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