Driver sentenced after crash near country club in The Villages

Jared James Shifflette

A man has been sentenced after a crash near a country club in The Villages where he said he’d been drinking beer.

Jared James Shifflette, 26, of Summerfield, had been driving a 2018 Jeep Commander with Tennessee license plates on Dec. 17 when he made a right turn out of the parking lot at Hacienda Hills Country Club and entered the southbound lane of traffic, where his vehicle struck an oncoming 2014 Ford Fusion driven by 38-year-old Timothy James Cronin Downey, of the Village of Santo Domingo, according to an accident report from the Florida Highway Patrol.

Shifflette said his vehicle, owned by a woman from Bristol, Tenn., had “drifted” into the southbound lane of traffic. Shifflette admitted he had “at least three beers” during a “work party” at Hacienda Hills Country Club, an arrest report indicated. He failed field sobriety exercises. He provided a breath sample that registered .155 blood alcohol content. He was arrested on a charge of driving under the influence and ticketed on a charge of careless driving.

Earlier this month in Sumter County Court, Shifflette entered a plea of no contest in the case. He will lose his license for six months, has been placed on probation for one year and ordered to perform 80 hours of community service.