Winter Garden Golf Cart Parade Canceled After Hit-and-Run Car Crash
An annual holiday event meant to bring joy and happiness to a local community was canceled over the weekend after a vehicle carrying a pair of fugitives plowed through police barricades Saturday evening in downtown Winter Garden.
According to early collision reports from the Winter Garden Police Department, the incident occurred shortly before 6 p.m. on December 11, 2021, when officers were in the process of closing roads and setting up safety measures along the downtown portion of Plant Street for the Winter Garden Golf Cart Christmas Parade. It was as they were putting their finishing touches on the parade route that a vehicle carrying 27-year-old Terryus Jorelle Baker, 24-year-old Elizabeth Chavez, and two other unnamed juveniles entered the vicinity traveling at a high rate of speed.
Authorities who were working in the area attempted to slow the car down, but the 27-year-old driver allegedly sped up and almost slammed into one of the officers who was standing on the street. Almost immediately after this initial crash, the driver collided with another motorist and proceeded to flee the scene on foot since his car was disabled in the accident.
An off-duty officer from the Kissimmee Police Department who was in the crowd as a spectator witnessed the entire hit-and-run accident and was able to apprehend Terryus Jorelle Baker after a short chase. “It was just a reflex. I didn’t picture myself chasing after someone. I work in Kissimmee and live in Winter Garden and I just didn’t think anything of it; I just felt myself going after him,” the officer stated in a press release to the public.
Officers with the Winter Garden Police Department arrested Baker for aggravated assault on a law enforcement officer, child neglect, driving with an invalid license, leaving the scene of a crash with property damage, possession of narcotics without a prescription, and a previous FTA warrant related to his suspended driver’s license. The female passenger, 24-year-old Elizabeth Chavez, also had a warrant out for her arrest and she was taken into custody as well. The two underage passengers were turned over to the Florida Department of Children and Families.
The driver of the other vehicle involved in the collision sustained minor injuries and was transported to a local hospital for medical treatment. No further injuries were reported.
James O. Cunningham
Since 1977, personal injury lawyer James Cunningham has provided effective legal advocacy to people who are injured through the negligent actions of another person or entity throughout the Central Florida area. He fights to obtain recoveries for his clients’ physical and emotional pain and suffering and pursues his clients’ personal injury cases with a commitment to excellence and impeccable preparation.