BMW Involved in Deadly Crash Was Stolen, Police Say
Patch has learned that the BMW involved in a deadly crash on Curlew Rd. was stolen from a home in Clearwater the night before the crash.
A 2008 BMW 550i that was involved in a deadly crash Wednesday morning at the intersection of McMullen Booth and Curlew roads was stolen, according to Clearwater Police.
Robert Henry Raymer Jr., 54, of Holiday was killed in the crash. Investigators say Raymer was driving his Chevy pickup truck eastbound on Curlew Rd. at about 5:30 a.m. when a BMW driven by Jonathan Peter Bytautas, 29, of Clearwater, ran a red light on McMullen Booth Rd. and hit Raymer's truck. The vehicles then crashed with a Ford pickup truck driven by George Neil Paajanen, 60, of Palm Harbor.
Patch has learned that the BMW was stolen from a home in Clearwater the night before the crash. Around 11:30 p.m on Dec. 11, 2012, a female and another person entered an unoccupied home at 314 Orangeview Ave., using a side window. Once inside the home, the suspects took the keys to the BMW and then stole the car, according to Clearwater Police Spokeswoman Elizabeth Watts. This case is still under investigation.
Police have not released any information about how Bytautas wound up driving the stolen car, or if they have any information regarding this. Shortly after Wednesday's crash, Bytautas was transported in serious condition to St. Joseph's Hospital in Tampa.
Florida Department of Corrections records show that Bytautas was released from Graceville Correctional Facility in Graceville, Florida, on Aug. 3, 2012, after serving a sentence of four years and six months. Bytautas was convicted of Robbery, Traffic in Stolen Property and Burglary of an Occupied Dwelling. The crimes occurred in Pinellas County.
Bytautas is still hospitalized. George Neil Paajanen, who was driving the Ford pickup suffered minor injuries and was not transported to the hospital.
No charges have been filed in connection with Wednesday's deadly crash.
Correction: An earlier version of this story included an incorrect date for when the BMW was reportedly stolen.