Florida Highway Patrol crash investigators say a Tavernier man was under the influence of alcohol when he crashed his car into a motorcyclist as he waited to make a U-turn Monday on U.S. 1.
Gregory Allan Pope, 47, was arrested Thursday by FHP troopers and Monroe County Sheriff’s Office deputies on one felony count of driving under the influence, causing serious bodily harm and five misdemeanor counts of DUI causing property damage.
The man troopers say Pope hit with his 2015 Volkswagen Passat, Philip Weydener, 54, of Key Largo, was flown to Jackson South Medical Center in Miami around 10:30 a.m. Monday in critical condition. FHP Lt. Kathleen McKinney, sub-district commander of the Keys, said Thursday afternoon that Weydener’s condition remained critical.
Troopers drew Pope’s blood at the scene to test its alcohol level. McKinney said FHP Sgt. Pedro Reinoso and the deputies arrested Pope Thursday at the Holiday Inn at mile marker 100 in Key Largo following the results of the blood test. McKinney said it was not immediately clear what Pope’s level of intoxication was or why he was at the hotel.
According to the FHP crash report, Pope was driving his Passat southbound on U.S. 1 Monday morning “at a high rate of speed.” He ran into the back of a 2002 Ford Explorer SUV driven by Tommie Lee Cooper, 48, of Florida City, causing the vehicle to cross the grassy median and go into the northbound lanes, where it hit the back left of a 2018 Ford Mustang driven by Eugene Stone, 50, of Manhattan.
The Mustang stopped on the shoulder of the road, but the Explorer kept going and hit two cars parked in the parking lot of a True Value hardware store.
Neither Cooper nor Stone were injured.
Meanwhile, after hitting the back of Cooper’s SUV, Pope kept driving, veering left into the turning lane where Weydener was sitting atop his 2017 Harley-Davidson, the FHP report states. Weydener was ejected from his bike and landed on the windshield of the Passat before falling to the ground. He was not wearing a helmet, according to the FHP report.