Florida deputy dies after high-speed chase and crash

Reckless driver fled through four counties

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) -- A Tampa Bay-area sheriff's deputy has died after crashing in pursuit of a reckless driver who fled through four counties.

According to Florida Highway Patrol, a Brooksville police officer spotted the driver early Sunday. Authorities say 35-year-old Michael James Anthony of Silver Springs fled when the officer tried to conduct a traffic stop.

Hernando County Sheriff's deputies joined the pursuit. One deputy suffered minor injuries when he lost control and collided with a pickup truck and utility pole.

As the chase extended into Pasco County, Hernando sheriff's Deputy John Mecklenburg lost control of his vehicle and collided with a tree. The patrol car caught fire. The sheriff's office says the 35-year-old deputy died at a Tampa hospital.

FHP says Anthony eventually surrendered in Pinellas County. He faces multiple charges.

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