The Martin County Sheriff’s Office, along with multiple agencies, are investigating the circumstances surrounding the pursuit of a robbery suspect, that ended in a crash.
A preliminary investigation reveals that the suspect, an early release inmate from the Florida Prison System, assaulted and carjacked an employee at a Tequesta business yesterday morning. He then stole the victim’s work van. The suspect fled on Interstate 95 into Martin County. Despite multiple attempts to get the driver to stop, he continued driving recklessly, even ramming a deputy’s patrol car as he tried to pull alongside the van.
The pursuit ended when the suspect lost control of the van. The vehicle rolled multiple times, coming to rest on the southbound side of the interstate. The suspect was ejected from the vehicle, and the van burst into flames.
The suspect was later identified as 29-year old Michael Kungis of Palm Beach County. Kungis was flown to a nearby hospital, where he remains in critical condition. The deputy, and a second motorist, were also transported to the hospital with minor injuries. The southbound lanes of I-95, near the High Meadow Exit, were closed for several hours as investigators collected evidence in the case.
Tequesta Police are handling the initial case in their jurisdiction, and have announced that Kungis will be charged with carjacking. The Florida Highway Patrol, Martin County Sheriff’s Office, and State Attorneys Office are all taking part in the overall investigation. Kungis faces multiple charges in Martin County, including felony fleeing and eluding, aggravated assault of a law enforcement officer, and various other charges.