Sunday, June 29, 2014
Sarasota County Sheriff SUV Door Ripped Off By Driver Who Failed to Move Over it is a Miracle Deputy Was Not Killed!
The Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office has issued multiple traffic citations to an Ellenton man who not only failed to slow down or move over for law enforcement on the interstate today but clipped the door of a patrol vehicle as a deputy was exiting the SUV and then kept driving. Dep. Chris Butler was making a traffic stop on northbound I-75 just south of Clark Road for a move over” violation when a 2000 Cadillac hit his driver’s side door as it opened. The driver of the Cadillac, 77-year-old Robert Best, also failed to stop after the crash and was pulled over a short time later by another traffic deputy. Best said he was not aware that he hit anything or that there was obvious damage to his vehicle. Best was cited for a Move Over Violation, Failure to Maintain Lane and Leaving the Scene of an Accident with Property Damage. In addition to damaging Dep. Butler’s vehicle, debris struck the vehicle that Dep. Butler had originally pulled over, causing minor damage. Dep. Butler has been in the Traffic Unit for more than 15 years, previously served as the Field Training Officer, and attended numerous schools for traffic enforcement related topics. He complained of a sore ankle and burning on his skin from the airbag deploying when the door was struck. There were no other injuries.
Sarasota Herald Tribune ‘Columnist’ Tom Lyons who is so far left he must have a hard time walking upright writes…”Lyons: ‘Move Over’ a good idea, but maybe not a good law”, I have suspected that one possible example is Florida’s Move Over Law, no matter that it only requires drivers to do something that is usually a good idea: Slow down and/or change lanes to move away from any stopped police car or ambulance with lights flashing. That law is supposed to reduce fatal accidents of the sort that killed Highway Patrol Trooper Chelsea Richard alongside Interstate 75 near Ocala, and trucker John Duggan. But while that terrible event could be used as a perfect example of why we might need such a law, it might also be a perfect example of why the law is of little or no value. I’ve never believed the move-over law could help with that (oh yeah, look at photo above). The two were killed in May, 11 years after Florida’s law took effect. Whenever you see blue flashing lights by the roadside and wish you had seen them a little sooner, you always have a choice: Do what seems safest, or follow the law to avoid a ticket. Often the two will be the same. When they aren’t, keeping a cop safe might require ignoring the law. Good luck with that.”
Bill Warner Private Investigator Sarasota Fl at www.wbipi.com