Featured Stories

The Docket: Forklift driver who fatally struck an officer was an illegal migrant, Sheriff says

Pinellas County Sheriff's Office
Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office

An investigation has revealed that the Florida construction worker who fatally struck an officer with a front loader was an illegal migrant, according to the sheriff.

The Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office says Archer Western hired multiple illegal immigrants, including one who is accused of hitting and killing a Pinellas County deputy with a front loader before fleeing the scene.

The construction worker is facing several charges after hitting a police deputy with a forklift and fleeing the scene.
The incident occurred just after 11 p.m. near Interstate 275 and Roosevelt Boulevard.
The Pinellas County Sheriff’s Department says that 51-year-old Deputy Michael Hartwick was working a detail in a construction zone when he was hit by a front-end loader with a forklift.
The driver of the lift Victor Vasquez, continued driving for about a mile before pulling over into a parking lot.
Vasquez then told another worker what happened before taking off his uniform and running away on foot.
The other worker then took the uniform and hid it.
About 100 officers and K9 teams searched through the night for Vasquez until finally locating him around 9:00 a.m.
Vasquez has been charged with leaving the scene of an accident among other charges.
The worker who hid Vasquez’s uniform has also been arrested. He was charged with accessory after the fact.