The Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office is mourning the loss of one of their own, Deputy Sheriff Jason Shoulta. Shoulta, 43, suffered fatal injuries as a result of a motorcycle crash on April 27 while he was off duty. The accident occurred around 12:15pm at the intersection of Perrin Ranch Road and County Road 77 in Pinellas County when 20 year old Taylor Anne Vanderbilt, the driver of the second vehicle, attempted a left hand turn into a gas station and entered the path of Deputy Shoulta. Although Deputy Shoulta was transported to Bayonet Point Hospital alive, his injuries proved to be too severe and his was pronounced dead at 1:27pm.
Sheriff Bob Gualtieri was quoted as saying “There is no sense that can be made of such a tragedy and no words that can make this easier on anyone”, and has committed the resources of the county’s critical incident team to help Shoulta’s family make final arrangements and cope with the loss. As with any Pinellas County or Tampa motorcycle accident, the Florida State Highway Patrol conducted a full investigation and found that Shoulta made every attempt to avoid the accident.
Deputy Shoulta was a native of Oldsmar, Florida and began his career with the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office on March 3, 1999. Since then he has served as a SWAT team member, courtroom Bailiff and was an acting member of the Patrol Operations Bureau.