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Report: woman ran deputy into ditch, arrested for DUI (subscriber content)




Monitor Editor

Clay County deputies arrested a Keystone Heights woman after they said she forced one of them to drive into a ditch to avoid a collision.

Natalee J. Strombeck, 21, was charged with DUI-property damage, Jan. 8.

The allegation against Strombeck is not proven and she is presumed innocent until adjudicated guilty by a court.

According to an arrest report, around 11:18 p.m., a Clay County deputy was idling at a stop sign at the intersection of C.R. 315C and C.R. 214, about one-half mile south of McRae Elementary School,  when the officer saw a another vehicle approaching from behind at a high rate of speed with its tires screeching.  The deputy accelerated through the intersection to avoid a collision and wound up in a ditch.

The other vehicle ran the stop sign, slid out onto C.R. 214, and nearly struck the patrol car before continuing toward Keystone Heights.

As the deputy followed the vehicle,  he noticed that sparks were coming from the left, front wheel of the truck, due to a blown tire.

The officer activated his emergency lights and siren, but the truck continued on 214 until it served off the roadway near Bundy Lake Road and crashed into a sign and some brush.

According to the lawman, the driver, Strombeck, was not injured in the crash and did not realize she had collided with a sign, nor did she know she was driving with a flat tire.  The deputy later told an investigator that he noticed an odor of alcohol coming from Strombeck and that her eyes were bloodshot.

The deputy conntacted investigator J.C. Sanders, who took Strombaeck to the parking lot of McRae Elementary School to administer field sobriety tests.  According to Sanders, after the tests he had probable cause to arrest Strombeck for DUI.  Sanders wrote in a report that another deputy took breath samples from the defendant at the Clay County jail.  Those samples registered .197 and .198, more than double the legal limit in Florida.

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