Fla. police prevent driver from speeding into thousands of 5K racers on Thanksgiving

The woman was driving recklessly when three officers stopped her and asked to see her ID. She refused and hit the gas, speeding onto the 5K racecourse


By Devoun Cetoute
Miami Herald

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — A Florida woman nearly was the cause of a Thanksgiving disaster when she weaved around cops to try to drive through a 5K race with thousands of runners. Officers’ quick actions stopped her and ended what could have been “tragic results,” police said.

The St. Petersburg Thanksgiving Day 5K Turkey Trot was already underway Thursday with 3,000 runners on its secure racecourse closed to traffic around 8 a.m., when Ashlee Morgan, 38, sped toward the track, St. Petersburg Police said.

WTVT reported she was driving at about 60 mph in her 2019 Range Rover Velar toward the race in St. Petersburg.

Police say she was driving recklessly when three officers stopped her and asked to see her ID. She refused and hit the gas, speeding onto the 5K racecourse.

“Our officers immediately identified the reckless driver as being a threat to the runners,” police said.

Another officer tried to stop her, but she drove past two police cars. She was eventually forced to a stop by another officer, police said.

She was then put in cuffs and charged with reckless driving, leaving the scene of a crash, resisting an officer without violence and two counts of fleeing and eluding.

“Thanks to the quick response of the officers on scene, they were able to stop her, and avert what could have ended up being tragic results,” police said.

Police later learned she was leaving the scene of a crash where she hit a stop sign.

The North Shore Elementary PTA said in a statement, “...We would like to express our gratitude to the St. Petersburg Police Department for their quick actions to protect participants in yesterday’s Coffee Pot Turkey Trot 5K from a reckless driver.”

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McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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