A semi trailer crashed through a busy Sarasota intersection Aug. 5 causing a chain reaction that involve eight vehicles. One of the crash victims has died, announced the Florida Highway Patrol on Tuesday.

Troopers say charges are pending following the death of a crash victim. Eight vehicles were involved.

Gregory Werner Jr., 33, of Nokomis, was driving a semi traveling east on Fruitville Road (Sarasota) in the left lane, approaching a red light at Coburn Road, when he failed to stop, according to a Florida Highway Patrol press release.

The semi hit at least four of the vehicles, with a chain reaction that involved the rest. Werner suffered serious injuries.

The driver of the Kia Sorento the semi initially struck, Barbara Laidlaw, 71, of Sarasota, suffered critical injuries. She died two days later at Sarasota Memorial Hospital. Her name was not released by FHP until Aug. 13.

Five other drivers and one passenger suffered minor injuries, while one driver was uninjured.

The Florida Highway Patrol says the crash remains under investigation and unspecified charges are pending.

Senior citizen crime prevention seminar Sept. 10

The Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office is hosting a Senior Citizen Crime Prevention Seminar on Tuesday, Sept. 10, at the Frances T. Bourne Jacaranda Library in Venice.

As part of the agency’s continued commitment to public education, its Crime Prevention Unit will host a two-hour program from 1-3 p.m., to help senior citizens protect themselves from common types of fraud. With representatives from the U.S. Secret Service, IRS, Regions Bank and Sprint, topics of discussion will include how to identify fraud and avoid scams, how to properly file a tax return and file for social security, how to protect bank accounts, and how to prevent robo-calls and block callers.

The Frances T. Bourne Jacaranda Library is located at 4131 Woodmere Park Blvd. The seminar is free and limited to 80 registrants. To RSVP, please email or dial 941-861-4084.

The Venice Police Department reported the following arrest:

Joseph Guarascio, 31, 1300 block of Karen Drive, Venice. Charges: grand theft auto, alteration of public record certificate, dealing in stolen property. Bond: $15,000.

The Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office reported the following arrests:

Gregory Willingham, 58, 4800 block of South Tamiami Trail, Venice. Charge: violation of open container law or alcohol in a public place. Bond: none.

Sam DeMercurio, 49, 3900 block of Sterling Road, Venice. Charges: two counts of possession of a controlled substance without a prescription, drug equipment, possession and/or use, petit larceny, first degree, less than $300. Bond: $4,000.

Beth Meinket, 55, 400 block of Clover Road, Venice. Charge: DUI. Bond: $120.

Brandon Crow, 25, 2100 Mesic Hammack Way, Venice. Charges: driving while license is suspended or revoked, resisting an officer without violence, possession of marijuana with intent to sell, possession of a controlled substance without a prescription (MDMA), smuggle contraband into a detention facility. Bond: $5,120.

Tommie Tucker, 47, 100 block of S. Ruby Ave., Nokomis. Charge: domestic aggravated battery on person 65 or older. Bond: none.

Chad Austin, 19, 10 block of Laurel Road, Nokomis. Charges: armed burglary, theft of a firearm, drug equipment possession. Bond: none.

William Leonard, 34, 5400 block of Cantucci St., Nokomis. Charges: driving while license suspended or revoked, possession of a controlled substance without a prescription (MDMA, buprenorphine), drug equipment possession. Bond: $4,000.

Alisha Laps, 41, 900 block of Pineland Avenue, Venice. Charges: DUI, DUI with property damage, hit and run. Bond: $740.

Malik Outing, 18, 400 block of Scott St., Nokomis. Charges: cocaine possession, marijuana possession. Bond: $2,000.

The Florida Highway Patrol reported the following arrest:

Rachael Brummer, 29, 4900 block of Topsail Drive, Nokomis. Charge: DUI with property damage. Bond: $500.

Criminal registration:

Nathaniel Lamp, 24, 1000 block of E. Fundy Road, Venice.

Brandan Stearns, 40, 1000 block of Hope St., Venice.

Compiled by Greg Giles and Tom Harmening


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