A Pinellas County DUI crash resulted in the tragic death of a deputy from the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office. The fatal incident took place on Wednesday, February 17. The deceased deputy was identified by PCSO as Michael Magli, 30. Deputy Magli leaves behind a wife, two children, and both parents.
According to the details shared by Sheriff Bob Gualtieri, the incident involved a drunk driver who was identified as Robert Allen Holzaepfel, 33. Holzaepfel was being chased by the officers at the time. The chase happened in the Forelock Road and East Lake Road area.
While the other deputies were chasing Holzaepfel, Deputy Magli was deploying stop sticks in a median. As Holzaepfel drew near Deputy Magli, he lost control of his truck. The truck hit Magli at a high rate of speed and caused him to be trapped underneath his official vehicle.
Deputy Magli sustained critical injuries in the collision. He succumbed to his injuries and died on the scene of the accident. Holzaepfel remained safe in the accident and had no notable injuries to report. He was taken into custody following the crash. The East Lake Road remained closed for several hours following the accident. Sheriff Gualtieri expressed deep sorrow over the loss of the deputy.
Preliminary investigations reveal that Holzaepfel was driving under the influence at the time of the accident. Based on the available evidence, a number of charges have been brought against him. These include DUI manslaughter, felony murder, and aggravated fleeing and eluding police. The serious charges could result in a prison sentence of up to life for Holzaepfel.
Police records show that the Pinellas County DUI crash isn’t the first criminal offense on Holzaepfel’s record. He already has 16 felonies on his previous record. He was on probation at the time of the crash and his license had been suspended.
If you or a loved one have been involved in a traffic incident, contact a Florida car accident attorney right away.