UPDATE: Early in October, we reported on the rear-end collision between a deputy with the Osceola County Sheriff’s Office and a civilian driving a pickup truck. This collision, which was the result of circumstances that remain somewhat murky, resulted in the death of the civilian. The officer involved was allowed to return to duty. A month later, on November 6th, this same officer was once again involved in a rear-end crash. While no one in this second crash lost their lives, there was still significant damage done to several vehicles as well as injuries sustained by several people who were involved in the incident.
During the investigation into the initial crash, it became apparent that the Osceola County Sheriff’s Office was withholding vital information – including transcripts of emergency calls made by the deputy – from the investigators. At the time of this writing, it is not clear if those missing materials were ever provided.
What we do know is that a settlement was recently reached with the family of the deceased individual, effectively ending any investigation into the accident. Reports from several news agencies state that the Osceola County officials have given the grieving family a $200,000 settlement. While this amount is shockingly small in relation to the violence of the incident, the needlessness of a person’s death, and the suspicious circumstances under which this death occurred, Florida’s sovereign immunity statute protects government officials against the claims of the civilians who they may hurt or, as in this case, kill.
In other words, the maximum that anyone can expect to receive from any case involving an individual versus a government body is $200,000.
The individual who was behind the wheel of the police vehicle at the time of the crash is still a deputy in the Osceola County Sheriff’s Office, although it is believed that their duties have changed somewhat. According to reports, this deputy works in a department that does not require them to drive a car. Other than that, it is not believed that any action was taken against the deputy.
It is not known if any charges are pending against the deputy or the Osceola County Sheriff’s Office in relation to the second collision.
- Settlement reached in fatal crash caused by Osceola County deputy
James O. Cunningham
Since 1977, personal injury lawyer James Cunningham has provided effective legal advocacy to people who are injured through the negligent actions of another person or entity throughout the Central Florida area. He fights to obtain recoveries for his clients’ physical and emotional pain and suffering and pursues his clients’ personal injury cases with a commitment to excellence and impeccable preparation.
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