Deputy Crashes Patrol Car into Home; Removed from Road Duty
Damage is shown to a home at 10810 SW 49th Ave. in the Sun Valley subdivision after a Marion County Sheriff's patrol car crashed into it on Nov. 6, 2010. The deputy involved in the crash was removed from road duty on Friday. [Submitted Photo]
Tampa Bay Tribune via YellowBrix
February 02, 2011
OCALA, FL – A sheriff’s deputy whose patrol car crashed into the garage of a home late last year has been suspended without pay and removed from road duty.
Shelby Roberts, 28, who has been on light duty since the Nov. 11, 2010, crash in Sun Valley, was suspended for five days without pay and has been reassigned to the Communications Center for “an unspecified amount of time,” according to a letter of disciplinary action.
The letter, dated Friday, states that she must attend a remedial driving course and a critique of her driving video will be conducted by a driving instructor. She also must read the agency’s operations directive and state traffic laws and sign those documents.
On the night of Nov. 11, officials say, Roberts was on her way to provide backup for a deputy who had requested assistance for a disturbance that was turning physical. While en route, the first deputy called saying the situation had calmed down and to just have one unit continue as a routine backup.
A video shows Roberts turning off the lights of her patrol vehicle and reducing speed.
Not long after the call, the video shows Roberts pass two vehicles and, as Maj. Jerry Craig noted in the disciplinary letter, she “continued to increase your speed without operating your emergency equipment.”
The video then shows Roberts’ car come over a hill and clip a vehicle turning into a driveway and crash into the garage.
The Florida Highway Patrol investigated the crash. Troopers estimated Roberts was traveling more than 90 mph. She received two citations, one for not wearing a seat belt and the other for “special hazards.”
The Sheriff’s Office paid for repairs to the homeowner’s garage.
Roberts could not be reached for comment.
She was hired by the department as an evidence technician four years ago and went to the patrol unit in July 2009. Her personnel file indicates she has received seven “Eagle Eye” commendations for good work.
This is the second time in as many months that sheriff’s officials removed a deputy from the road. Deputy Douglas Strow also was placed in the Communications Center following an internal affairs investigation for having inappropriate contact with women.