According to a report on WESH-TV, a deputy from Seminole County was arrested on Thursday, October 6, and charged with leaving a crash scene where there were injuries. The deputy had slowed to avoid hitting a dog on Lake Emma Road in Lake Mary when his unmarked patrol car was hit by a motorcycle. Instead of stopping to render aid to the motorcyclist, the deputy left the scene. The deputy’s car sustained about $4,000 in damage, though the deputy’s story was that he didn’t know he had been hit.
Even though the Seminole County car accident happened one month ago the deputy was just arrested this week; WESH-TV does not mention why there was a delay. The officer has been suspended from his job. The motorcyclist was injured and suffered broken bones and cuts, and this story gives no explanation as to why he didn’t stop before hitting the officer’s car.
An investigation is continuing.
This story is a twist on the typical hit-and-run accident. Even though the officer was hit, he has an obligation as an officer of the law to respond to the citizens of his county. Under state law, when anyone is involved in a hit-and-run, even if they have been hit themselves, they are required to stay and render aid. Certainly, a person who is an officer of the law should understand the law and follow it.
For some reason, many people involved in Florida hit-and-run accidents seem compelled to leave the scene for a list of potential reasons. They may not have insurance or a driver’s license, or they may be driving under the influence or have drugs in their possession. Leaving the scene turns a possible misdemeanor into a criminal charge with prison time.
It will be interesting to see whether or not the law, which applies to the citizens of Florida, also applies to its’ law enforcement officers.