A wrong-way driver in St. Petersburg crashed into a police officer's cruiser early Friday.
According to officers, 21-year-old Madison Pratt Best was driving north in the southbound lanes of Martin Luther King Jr. Street near 103rd Avenue N just after 3 a.m.
At the same time, Ofc. Antonion Romeu, 32, had just turned from 103rd Avenue N onto Martin Luther King Jr. Street. Police say Best drove her 4-door Lexus head-on towards the cruiser. Romeu tried to avoid the crash but the Lexus smashed into the front left of the cruiser.
The force of the crash spun the police vehicle around and onto the grass at the northwest corner of the intersection.
Romeu radioed out he was in a crash and then failed to respond to radio calls. Dispatchers used GPS to confirm his location and direct responding officers who located him laying in the grass beside his cruiser, conscious but dazed by the crash.
"Certainly the silence caused a lot of concern," said SPPD Asst. Police Chief Jim Previtera. "The first officers who arrived at the scene zeroed in on the GPS in the cruiser and they found him lying in the grass beside his car."
Down the street from the crash scene, a bicyclist told police that the same green Lexus that struck the cruiser, struck him first, knocked him off his bike and kept on going.
Romeu, on the force since 2007, was taken to Bayfront Health St. Petersburg for observation. He has since been released.
Best was not injured and refused field sobriety and breath tests. She was booked at the Pinellas County Jail on charges of DUI. She bonded out of jail later Friday.
She has previously been cited for careless driving, failure to yield and leaving the scene of an accident.