Christopher Gamel, a social studies teacher at James W. Mitchell High School in New Port Richey, was arrested and charged with multiple counts of DUI property damage and personal injury after the car he was driving collided with a patrol car and tow truck on SR-54 last week.
A Florida Highway Patrol trooper was investigating a crash on SR-54 west of Little Road. The tow truck was removing the vehicle involved in the crash and the patrol car was in the center lane while the patrolman assisted in traffic control. A sheriff’s office vehicle was also struck. The tow truck and patrol cars had their emergency lights flashing. The tow truck operator, patrol officers and the driver of the car they were assisting were all outside of their vehicles.
Just after 11:30pm, Gamel veered to the center portion of the roadway and the left side of his 2007 Pontiac G6 collided with the right side of the patrol car and the left side of the crashed car before finally hitting the tow truck. The trooper was also sideswiped and suffered non-life-threatening injuries.
Gamel was treated for minor injuries and later booked in the Pasco County Jail on six DUI charges (one DUI and five DUI causing property damage or personal injury). It is likely that the repetitive charges relate to the Highway Patrol vehicle damage (1), the sheriff’s office vehicle (2), the tow truck (3), the original accident’s vehicle (4), and the trooper’s injuries (5). Gamel was later released on $3,000 bail.
No word on whether Gamel faces disciplinary action from the school district.