YULEE, Fla. – The Nassau County Sheriff’s Office confirms one of their deputies was involved in a crash where the other drive died at the scene. It happened Sunday afternoon around 1:30 on State Road 200 and Daydream Avenue in Yulee.
A Fernandina Beach man, 31, was killed according to the Florida Highway Patrol. The man was driving a sedan east along State Road 200, getting ready to turn onto Daydream Avenue. The 27-year-old deputy driver was in a marked SUV traveling west on State Road 200. As the car crossed through the westbound lanes, the SUV crashed into the right side, FHP said.
The sheriff’s office said the deputy was responding to a call for assistance from the Florida Agriculture Department Police, which was working on a human trafficking case. Eight minutes after getting the call, the crash happened.
The 31-year-old died at the scene. The deputy was taken to the hospital with minor injuries. Neither of the people involved in the collision were identified.
The report said both drivers were wearing their seatbelts at the time of the crash.
Sheriff Bill Leeper sent out a statement Monday afternoon that reads in part, ““It’s heartbreaking when anyone is killed in a traffic crash. We want to send our prayers and condolences to the family who lost a loved one in this tragic unfortunate accident.”
News4JAX Crime and Safety Expert, Lakesha Burton, said, “When officers are responding to calls, they have so many different things in mind as they’re traveling to that call. So you know, and safety’s always at the forefront. So when something like this happens, is very tragic.”
Burton goes on to say after an officer gets a call, “Typically, police officers activate their lights and sirens if they are responding to an emergency. So we just have to wait and see when further investigation is done, to see what the emergency was. So it definitely there’s some criteria to determine when officers should, you know, utilize their lights and sirens and, you know, speed to a call. So it’s a lot of different factors that come into play.”
Burton says if it’s determined the officer did not use his lights or sirens – he could face charges. This crash is being investigated by Florida Highway Patrol.
The sheriff’s office says this deputy is not on administrative leave at this time – they are waiting for the investigation to end to see if that will change.