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Trial date set for driver cited in crash that killed Clay County deputy

Stephen Schioppa was cited for failure to yield in the deadly Aug. 19, 2018 wreck

Clay County Deputy Ben Zirbel died as a result of an on-duty crash

ORANGE PARK, Fla. – A trial date has been set for the driver cited in the Clay County crash that killed Deputy Ben Zirbel.

As News4Jax previously reported, Stephen Schioppa was cited in August for failure to yield to oncoming traffic in the Aug. 19, 2018, wreck in Orange Park that resulted in the death of Zirbel.

According to the Florida Highway Patrol’s crash report, Schioppa driving a pickup truck towing a lawn trailer north on Blanding Boulevard about 11 a.m. that day when he turned left onto Camp Johnson Road. The vehicle crossed into the path of Zirbel, who was heading south on his motorcycle.

The vehicles collided and Zirbel died at the hospital several days later.

Following a year-long investigation, the FHP cited Schioppa, who has pleaded not guilty in the case.

Court records show a trial date has been set for Jan. 24. Dozens of witness subpoenas have been issued before the trial. Asked if Schioppa was challenging the citation, his defense attorney declined comment.