Report Indicates Police Officer Was Driving 84 Miles Per Hour Before Deadly Wreck
SARASOTA, FL- Heraldtribune.com writes that a police officer who was involved in a deadly collision was driving 84 miles per hour when he struck a car carrying an elderly couple. The investigation stated that the other driver, a well-known local philanthropist, was at fault for the crash.*
The victims were pulling out from their condominium, and the officer’s patrol vehicle struck their Tesla. The driver died instantly, and his wife passed away the following day in the hospital. At the time, the police officer was driving to the scene of a fire and had his lights operating but not his sirens. According to reports, the officer’s Ford Explorer was traveling at about double the posted speed limit.
The general orders for officers in the Longboat Key Police Department state that when an officer is responding to an emergency, the lights, sirens, and other signals will be activated as is required by the law.
Near the location of the tragic collision, construction equipment was in place and reportedly was obstructing the view of both the victim and the police officer. Reports later found that the victim had complained at an earlier time about the placement of the construction equipment. Other individuals had also made complaints to the property manager prior to the wreck.
Investigators were able to acquire data from both of the vehicles involved. The officer applied his brakes prior to impact and slowed to 55.4 miles per hour by the time his airbag deployed. The Tesla was only traveling nine miles per hour as the driver left the parking lot. While the victim was found at fault, others are pointing out that the speed of the police vehicle was far too fast for the roadway- which is lined with driveways and runs along a bike trail. Some critics stated that the officer’s actions were reckless.
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