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Pinellas Deputy Killed in Motorcycle Crash

Pinellas County Deputy Sheriff Jason Shoulta, 43, was killed in a motorcycle accident Friday afternoon in Pasco County.

On Friday evening, the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office announced that tragedy had struck its law enforcement agency with the sudden death of Deputy Sheriff Jason Shoulta.

Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri said Shoulta, 43, was involved in a fatal motorcycle accident in Pasco County Friday afternoon around 12:15.

In a message to members of the Sheriff's Office, Gualtieri said:

"Our thoughts and prayers are with Jason's family and friends. There is no sense that can be made of such a tragedy and no words that can make this easier on anyone."

According to the Florida Highway Patrol, the crash occurred near the intersection of Perrine Ranch Road and County Road 77 (Seven Springs Road).

Shoulta, who was off-duty at the time of the accident, was operating his 2010 Harley Davidson Street Glider southbound on County Road 77 approaching the intersection with Perrine Ranch Road.

The second driver, Taylor Vanderbilt, was driving her vehicle northbound on County Rd 77, according Florida Highway Patrol.

Vanderbilt, according to the crash report, attempted to make a left turn into a gas station at that intersection, and in so doing, had entered into the path of the Shoulta.

The Florida Highway Patrol said Shoulta tried to avoid the collision, but struck the right rear section of Vanderbilt's vehicle.

He sustained critical injuries and was transported to Bayonet Point Hospital where he was pronounced dead at 1:23 p.m. Friday.

According to the Tampa Bay Times, Shoulta is survived by his fiancé and children.

 "One thing I can say about Jason is he had like a permanent smile. His eyes smiled," Sheriff's Capt. Teri Dioquino told the Times. "His whole career he was always very professional. He had a great presence around him.”

Shoulta had been with the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office since March 3, 1999. He was currently assigned to the Patrol Operations Bureau. He has also served as a Bailiff in Court Security and was a member of the SWAT Team, among other assignments, according to the Sheriff’s Office.

JStrick April 28, 2012 at 02:54 PM
My prayers go out to this deputy and his family.
Catherine April 28, 2012 at 05:20 PM
Heartbreaking .. to lose another of our own. God's blessings to the family, fiancée, and friends - including of course the deputies' departmental family. Rest In Peace.
DALE FRANKENBERG April 28, 2012 at 11:48 PM
The well known bumper sticker "LOOK TWICE, SAVE A LIFE" very sadly applies here. What more can we riders do? As the saying goes....."THERE BUT BY THE GRACE OF GOD THERE GO I".....R I P
Cass April 29, 2012 at 10:32 AM
My father and Jason were good friends and were on the SWAT team together. The first time meeting him years ago during "SWAT week" I dont think I had ever laughed that hard just at little things he made jokes out of. My thoughts and prayers are with Jason's family and the rest of the PSCO family as well. We have truly lost an amazing person.
Debbie April 30, 2012 at 11:01 PM
I'm a volunteer at the PCSO and I did a ride a long with Jason in August of 2011. It really showed how much he loved his job. He had a great sense of humor and always had a smile on his face. God bless him and his family.... my thoughts are with you...

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