ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. – A pedestrian was hit and killed early Sunday morning at the intersection of U.S. 1 north of State Road 207 in St. Augustine by a Florida State trooper responding to a call.
The southbound lanes were closed at about 2:10 a.m. after the crash while the accident was investigated by the Florida Highway Patrol but has since reopened.
The Florida Highway Patrol has confirmed that the trooper, Kenneth Montgomery, 61, was traveling south on U.S. 1 when he saw what he suspected was an impaired driver. They said he tried to make a U-turn to catch up with the driver, and hit the pedestrian.
"The only thing I heard was a smash. I heard that, I dropped my bike and turned around, and I see him laying in the middle of the road," said witness Andrew Pannell.
Pannell said he's known Kinslow for many years and he was crossing just ahead of him when it happened.
FHP said the trooper, who is part of the DUI unit, did not have his lights and siren on but his dash camera was in operation. However, the video will not be released because it is part of the investigation.
Detectives said Montgomery was not injured, but was upset by the deadly crash.
The FHP cruiser had front-end damage and was loaded on a wrecker around daybreak.
FHP investigators believe the pedestrian, Vincent Kinslow, 33, was impaired when he walked out into the road.
He was taken to Flagler Hospital where we was pronounced dead.
Kinslow was homeless and had been arrested in the past for DUI and battery.
Pannell said he had hoped to get his friend back on his feet.
"I got off the streets myself. So I was taking him and his girlfriend in to Vilano, in my little condo. But then this happened," Pannell said.
He said Kinslow will be missed.
"Everybody loved him. He's a very good guy. A hard worker," Pannell said. "I just, I still don't understand. I'm just having a hard time with it right now."
The Florida Highway Patrol said the trooper involved in the deadly crash will remain on the force performing his normal duties, and he is not required to take administrative leave after a non-shooting incident.
However, FHP said Montgomery, who joined the Florida Highway Patrol in 2014, will be offered counseling by the department.