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2 motorcyclists seriously injured in crash with St. Johns County cruiser

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ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. – Two motorcyclists were sent to the hospital with serious injuries after crashing into a St. Johns County patrol car, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.

It happened on State Road 16 at Harvest Lane near the St. Augustine Premium Outlet around 5 p.m. Sunday.

Troopers said Deputy Brandon Hetzler was attempting to make a U-turn when two motorcycles struck the front of his marked patrol car. Julia Perez, 51, and Thomas Eiland, 59, were both thrown off their motorcycles.

Hetzler was not injured in the crash and was able to assist with medical treatment, along with additional deputies with the St. Johns County Sheriff's Office.

A spokesman with the Sheriff's Office said it was an emotional event for Hetzler. It's unclear if he was making the U-turn to respond to a call.

Eiland was taken to Flagler Hospital with serious injuries. Perez was taken to UF Health in Jacksonville with critical injuries. Troopers said both were wearing their helmets.

FHP's report said charges are pending further investigation. If Hetzler is found at fault in the crash, the Sheriff's Office will have an internal affairs review, the spokesman said.

About the Authors:

Ashley Harding joined the Channel 4 news team in March 2013 and reports every weekday for The Morning Show.