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Lauderdale Lakes, Florida Hit-and-Run Collision Injures Sheriff’s Deputy; Driver at Large

A Lauderdale Lakes, Florida hit-and-run collision involving a Mustang and a police cruiser left a sheriff’s deputy injured on Saturday, news sources report. Information regarding the victim’s identity was not immediately available following the incident. So far, the hit-and-run driver has not been apprehended. It is unclear what charges will be filled or if the injured officer will file for damages.

According to reports, the accident occurred around 6:05 Saturday morning at the corner of Northwest 31st Avenue and Northwest 26th Street, where traffic is regulated by a red light. 31st Street is a large six-lane highway, while 26th Street is a much smaller two-lane street. Reports say the suspect was in a red Mustang convertible when he left the Somerset Apartment complex and proceeded eastbound on Northwest 26th Street.

The Sheriff’s deputy was on duty in his patrol car, headed north on Northwest 31st Avenue, sources say. The two vehicle met at the intersection, where the suspect allegedly T-boned the deputy’s car. The force of the crash caused the deputy’s car to roll over, reports say. Following the crash, the suspect reportedly exited the Mustang and fled the scene on foot.

The deputy sustained minor injuries and was taken to the Broward Health Medical Center; reports say he has since been released. Police say they later learned that the suspect’s Mustang was a rental vehicle, sources say, but they apparently already have a lead and “are currently searching for him.”

Intersections are particularly prone to crashes. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration, 44% of all traffic related injuries occurred at intersections in 2007. What is more, 8,703 were killed in accidents at intersections that very same year. While the bulk of those fatalities were vehicle drivers, 17% were motorcyclists, 13% were pedestrians, and 3% were bicyclists.

At or away from intersections, accidents do happen, and police officers are just as likely as anyone to get caught up in the mess. James L. Kearse of Daytona Beach was arrested Thursday after he allegedly tried to run down an officer, reports say. Kearse, 35, was arrested at the hospital on two counts of aggravated assault on a law enforcement officer. It is unclear whether he has qualified for bail or hired legal representation.

According to reports, the incident occurred around Thursday afternoon. An undercover investigative team had been surveying an area in Daytona Beach when they reportedly spotted Kearse picking up a package. It was not immediately clear in reports what the team was investigating or what may have been in the package. However, after Kearse left the scene in a silver car, the team called for area police to pull the vehicle over.

Patrolling officers soon found Kearse inside the silver car, which was backed into a driveway, reports say. The officers approached the car, and Kearse put his hands up; however, sources say Kearse then put his foot on the gas and drove directly towards the officers. The officer opened fire and a bullet struck Kearse in the elbow, reports say. It does not appear as though the officers were hurt.

Sources: 7.13.13 Lauderdale Lakes Collision.pdf, Intersection Safety Issue Briefs – Lauderdale Lakes Collision.pdf, 7.13.13 Kearse Battery on an Officer.pdf.

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