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Driver hurt in collision with officer's cruiser

By Times staff writer

© St. Petersburg Times, published October 16, 2000

TAMPA -- A 24-year veteran of the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office was slightly injured when his patrol car slammed into a car that had pulled out in front of him, officials said.

Cpl. Anthony Italiano suffered injuries from the air bag on his 2000 Ford Crown Victoria, which deployed when the front of his car collided with the driver's side of a 1979 Ford Mustang driven by James A. MacKenzie, 45, of 15301 Taliaferro Ave. in Tampa.

Deputies said MacKenzie was eastbound on Sinclair Hills Road about 1:30 p.m. Sunday. He stopped at the stop sign at the road's intersection with Nebraska Avenue and then continued into the road, directly in the path of Italiano's patrol car.

MacKenzie was airlifted to Tampa General Hospital, where he was in serious condition Sunday night. The investigation into the accident is continuing, but officials said it appears the crash was MacKenzie's fault.

MacKenzie was arrested and charged with driving under the influence in 1996.

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