At about 1:39 p.m. on Saturday afternoon, Historic City News reported a two-car collision on SR-16 in St Augustine that would have the roadway closed for the next 5 hours and traffic backed up in all directions even longer.
The “at fault” vehicle, a 2003 Nissan Maxima, driven by 48-year-old Victor Ruben David Calderon, sustained about $3500 in damages when the driver attempted to make an improper left turn onto SR-16; traveling west from the Exxon Gas station parking lot at the intersection SR-16 at CR-208.
The approaching vehicle, a 2012 Nissan 4 door, driven by 48-year-old Michael J. Rhine of St Augustine, was traveling eastbound on SR-16 in the inside lane.
Calderon drove through the paved portion of the left turn lane, in the median, and entered Rhine’s lane of travel — causing Rhine to crash into Calderon’s left side. Calderon was not wearing his seatbelt; however, Sheriff’s Commander Chuck Mulligan told Historic City News that neither driver was injured in the collision.
FHP Trooper Justin Bedenbaugh reported that when he arrived at the scene, Calderon made a break and ran from officers, but was apprehended not far from the scene. Calderon resisted the trooper and St. Johns deputy already at the scene.
Calderon was subsequently detained for attempting to leave the scene of an accident. As he was taken into custody, the incident report indicates that Calderon made threats to kill and blow people up — indicating the possibility of an explosive device in his vehicle.
Both vehicles were at final rest within the roadway after the collision, forcing the closure of the Interstate exits and intersecting highways while members of the St Johns County Bomb Squad assisted in searching the vehicles for an incendiary device. The search of the vehicle found no explosives within the vehicle.
Calderon was booked into the St Johns County detention facility at 3:43 p.m., but the roadway was not re-opened until around 6:42 p.m., according to the incident report filed by Trooper Bedenbaugh.
Although Calderon has a United States social security number, he claims to be a Guatemalan citizen. He has refused to name his employer and claims to be a resident of Malacatancito; a municipality in the department of Huehuetenango. Calderon has refused to provide authorities with his address.
The 5’05” tall, 200 pound Calderon, who requires a Spanish interpreter, remains in custody in lieu of $113,500 total bond. During his first appearance hearing before Judge Traynor today, Calderon was ordered to have a mental health examination.