Head-On Collision Kills Umatilla Man, Shuts Down SR 46 Friday

SORRENTO, Fla.—The Florida Highway Patrol is on scene of a crash that killed a Umatilla man and shut down State Road 46 in both directions.

The preliminary investigation revealed a 2009 Hyundai Sonata being driven by a 42-year-old Umatilla man was traveling westbound on State Road 46 near Wekiva Pines Boulevard around 5:40 p.m. when he veered into the eastbound lane and collided with 2022 Ford E-350 being driven by a 49-year-old Deltona man, FHP Lt. Tara Crescenzi said.

The Umatilla man was transported to HCA Florida Lake Monroe Hospital in Sanford, where he was pronounced deceased. The Deltona man and his passenger, a 14-year-old male, were also transported to HCA Lake Monroe Hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.

The crash shut down State Road 46 between County Road 46A and Osprey Hammock Trail and it was still shut down at press time.

FHP Seeking Information on Hit-and-Run Crash that Seriously Injured Sorrento Bicyclist Wednesday Morning

SORRENTO, Florida—The Florida Highway Patrol is investigating a hit-and-run crash involving a bicyclist before daybreak Wednesday.

A 59-year-old man of Sorrento was riding a bicycle with proper lighting eastbound on Wolf Branch Road approaching County Road 437 on the south edge of the road, possibly around 4:45 a.m. Wednesday, when he was struck by an unknown vehicle, FHP Lt. Tara Crescenzi told Inside Lake.

The vehicle fled the scene and troopers found small debris that may belong to a white vehicle but were unable to determine the make or model of the vehicle. The bicyclist was transported to HCA Florida Lake Monroe Hospital in Sanford with serious injuries and remains in stable condition, Crescenzi said. There were no known witnesses to the crash and troopers are asking anyone with information to contact Crimeline at 1-800-423-TIPS.

Man Admits Shooting Neighbor’s Dogs, Killing 1, Held on $150K Bond

An earlier version of this story misidentified the deceased dog due to an error in the arrest affidavit. The dog’s name is Mary.

SORRENTO, Florida—A Sorrento man is in the Lake County Jail after he admitted shooting his neighbor’s dogs Saturday night, killing 13-year-old Mary, according to an arrest affidavit.

Lake County Sheriff’s Office deputies responded to Holopaw Trail in Sorrento shortly before 9 p.m. Saturday after the victim reported her neighbor, Sheldon Keith Hayward, 65, had shot her dogs, killing one of them. The woman told LCSO she let the dogs out in her backyard and did not realize her gate was open. The dogs apparently escaped through the open gate and when her daughter went to look for the pups, she found one of the dogs, Mary, dead, about 5 feet from the road. The victim said the dogs were not aggressive.

The victim’s daughter said when she exited the house, she heard a gunshot but did not realize at first Hayward had shot her dogs. She walked toward the road and found Manny the dog dead from a gunshot wound to the head and a second dog, Miller, also shot near the road. When the victim and her husband went to retrieve Miller, Hayward pointed a gun at them, according to the affidavit. The victim’s husband was unable to speak to deputies because he was at the animal hospital with Miller.

LCSO walked over to Hayward’s home to interview him and found a pool of blood “within seven steps from the road,” and walked another 15 to 20 yards to Hayward’s gate. He stepped out of his home and told deputies a group of aggressive dogs came over to his home and one of the dogs jumped on his fence but did not growl or bark at him. Hayward said he grabbed a shovel to attempt to scare the dogs, but they did not leave, and he grabbed his recently purchased rifle and shot at the dogs approximately five times. He told deputies he was within his fence when he shot the dogs.

Hayward was arrested for two counts of animal cruelty and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. He was transported to LCJ, where he is being held on $150,000 bond.

Sorrento Man Facing Multiple Charges After Shooting, Killing Man Friday Night

SORRENTO, Florida—A Sorrento man is facing a manslaughter charge and an aggravated battery charge after shooting a man and killing him Friday night, according to an arrest affidavit.

Lake County Sheriff’s Office deputies responded to Quaker Ridge Avenue on a report of a person being shot, and when they arrived, they found a man suffering from a gunshot wound to the chest. He was transported to AdventHealth Waterman in Tavares where he succumbed to his injury and was pronounced deceased. The victim’s name is redacted from the affidavit.

The investigation revealed Wallace Mannin Kirkland, 59, had shot the man once in the chest with a semi-automatic pistol and based on several interviews, LCSO found that Kirkland and the victim had multiple verbal altercations in the past, the affidavit states.

Wallace Kirkland PHOTO: Lake County Sheriff’s Office

Prior to the shooting, Kirkland, his wife and a neighbor were standing on the side of Quaker Ridge Avenue when the victim drove by in a Can-Am Side-by-Side and Kirkland threw a beer can over the side-by-side as it drove past. The victim got out of the vehicle, approached Kirkland, and said something similar to “I’m going to kill you,” the affidavit states. Witnesses told LCSO they did not see a weapon in the victim’s hand, and he was outnumbered due to the neighbor standing with Kirkland. The victim was also smaller than Kirkland, whose booking sheet lists him at 6 feet, 1 inch tall and weighing 250 pounds.

When the victim got within 3 to 4 feet of the victim, witnesses heard a gunshot and then the victim said he could not believe Kirkland shot him, according to the affidavit. The victim returned to the side-by-side, drove a short distance and appeared to pass out. LCSO obtained a search warrant and found a gun with one spent casing in the chamber.

Kirkland was arrested for manslaughter and aggravated battery with a firearm and transported to the Lake County Jail, where he was released on $40,000 bond.

Late Night Crash Kills Bicyclist

SORRENTO, Florida—An Apopka man was killed Friday night after he rode his bicycle into the path of a pickup truck Friday night, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.

Shortly before 10:30 p.m., a 28-year-old Apopka man was driving a 2006 Ford F-150 westbound on State Road 46 east of Deal Drive when a westbound bicyclist, a 36-year-old Apopka man, began traveling southwest and entered the direct path of the truck, FHP Lt. Tara Crescenzi said in a press release.

The bicyclist was pronounced deceased on the scene and the pickup driver and his passenger, a 2-year-old boy, were not injured, Crescenzi said.  

Barricaded Sorrento Man Now Accused of Sex Crimes

TAVARES, Florida—The Sorrento man who barricaded himself in a shed Wednesday night requiring a response from the Lake County Sheriff’s Office SWAT Team is now facing four charges for sex-related crimes, according to LCSO online booking records.

Gregory Tippett, 62, was in an altercation with multiple juveniles Wednesday night at his home on Swan Road in Sorrento, according to a report. He later armed himself and fired several shots, shooting himself in the leg, and then barricaded himself in a shed on the property.

After first refusing to come out, he surrendered to LCSO’s SWAT Team and was transported to AdventHealth Waterman in Tavares for treatment of his injuries, according to the report. After he was medically cleared, he was arrested for child abuse, battery and firing a weapon on residential property and transported to the Lake County Jail.

PHOTO: Lake County Sheriff’s Office

In addition to those charges, Tippett is now accused of two counts of sexual battery on a child, attempted sexual battery on a child and lewd and lascivious molestation of a child. He is being held in LCJ on no bond.

Man Who was Barricaded in Sorrento Shed Wednesday Arrested for Child Abuse, Battery, Discharging Gun

SORRENTO, Florida—The man who fired several shots and barricaded himself in a shed Wednesday night is being held in the Lake County Jail on no bond.

According to a heavily-redacted report, a juvenile at the home on Swan Road was upset and Gregory Tippett, 62, who lives at the home, went outside and grabbed melatonin container and threw it at an undisclosed person. Tippett then said he was going to leave and went to get something out of the refrigerator, a witness told the Lake County Sheriff’s Office. The relationship between Tippett, the witness and the juveniles was not available in the report.

Shortly after, the witness said she heard screaming and saw Tippett in his truck and one of the juveniles throwing things at Tippett because he was being verbally abusive, and one of the juveniles made an accusation that Tippett was hurting someone, but it is unclear who, due to the heavy redaction in the report.

The witness told Tippett she was going to call law enforcement and Tippett said he was going to grab his gun. The witness heard five shots go off and she took the juveniles outside and they got into her vehicle, but could not leave because she did not have her keys.

When deputies arrived on scene the witness gave them a gate code to enter the property and told them Tippett was last seen in a shed on the property that housed several firearms. LCSO ordered Tippett to come out and attempted to talk to him in the shed. Tippett exited the shed and was given commands to come out and show his hands and he refused and retreated back into the shed, the report states.

LCSO’s SWAT team responded to the scene and took Tippett into custody without incident. He was transported to AdventHealth Waterman in Tavares and treated for a gunshot wound to the leg. It is unknown if he shot himself accidently or intentionally, LCSO Lt. Fred Jones told Inside Lake and he was arrested after he was medically cleared. Tippett is facing three charges, including child abuse, battery and firing a weapon on residential property. He is being held in the Lake County Jail on no bond.

Man Taken into Custody After Barricading Himself in Sorrento Home

SORRENTO, Florida—The Lake County Sheriff’s Office has taken a man into custody after he was barricaded in a home on Swan Road in Sorrento Wednesday night.

The incident started as a domestic situation and the suspect barricaded himself in the home and became suicidal, LCSO Lt. Fred Jones told Inside Lake.

The man was taken into custody shortly after 9:30 p.m. No other details were available at press time.

Sorrento Woman Killed, Eustis Man Seriously Injured in Volusia County Crash

De LEON SPRINGS— A Sorrento woman was killed Thursday afternoon after the car she was riding in rear-ended a Ford F-350 on U.S. Highway 17 in Volusia County, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.

A 2013 Hyundai Elantra being driven by a 41-year-old Eustis man, was traveling southbound on U.S. Highway 17 approaching West Davis Street near De Leon Springs in Volusia County, when he failed to slow for a Ford F-350 pickup truck shortly after 5:30 p.m. Thursday. The Hyundai rear-ended the Ford, seriously injuring the Eustis man. His passenger, a 40-year-old woman from Sorrento, was transported to AdventHealth DeLand, where she was pronounced dead.  The driver was airlifted to Halifax Health Medical Center in Daytona Beach with serious injuries. Neither occupant was wearing a seatbelt, FHP Lt. Tara Crescenzi said.

The two men in the Ford, both 22, one of Jacksonville and one of Orange Park, suffered minor injuries and were not transported. They were both wearing seatbelts, Crescenzi said.

The crash remains under investigation.

Woman in Stable Condition After Umatilla Crash Tuesday Night

UMATILLA—For the second time in less than a week, the Florida Highway Patrol is investigating a crash that resulted in serious injuries near Umatilla.

There was little information available Wednesday morning, including how the crash occurred. A 55-year-old Sorrento woman was driving a white 2016 Chevrolet Cruze shortly before 8 p.m. Tuesday when she crashed for an unknown reason, striking a stop sign, street signs and a concrete pillar at State Road19 and Beach Street in front of Silver Beach Heights.

The woman was airlifted to HCA Florida Lake Monroe Hospital in Sanford, formerly Central Florida Regional Medical Center, in critical condition as a trauma alert, but is now in stable condition, FHP Lt. Tara Crescenzi told Inside Lake.

A concrete pillar is seen here after being hit by a Chevy Cruze Tuesday night near Umatilla. The driver, a 55-year-old Sorrento woman, is in stable condition. Courtesy photo

On Friday night, a 37-year-old Leesburg man was traveling southbound in the northbound inside lane on State Road 19, near Orange Avenue just north of the Eustis city limits in a Nissan Versa.

The Nissan struck a Ford Taurus traveling southbound and attempting to turn left on Orange Avenue. Both drivers were transported to local hospitals.

FHP continues to investigate both crashes.  

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