TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — A Mercedes driver was cited for a traffic violation after she hit a patrol car on Dale Mabry Highway, narrowly missing a Hillsborough County deputy, authorities said.
The incident occurred on May 4 in the area of North Dale Mabry Highway and Holly Lane in Lutz.
The Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office released video of the incident on Tuesday to remind drivers of Florida’s Move Over Law, which requires them to move over a lane for emergency vehicles. If a driver is unable to switch lanes, they must slow down to 20 mph less than the posted speed limit or 5 mph less when the speed limit is 20 mph and under.
“If you see those flashing warning lights or emergency lights, slow down and when possible to move over one lane you’re going to save a life,” said Sheriff Chad Chronister.
The video shows the vehicle sideswipe Deputy Charles Williams’ patrol car, and the person behind the wheel continue driving.
Williams followed the Mercedes, pulled it over and confronted the driver.
“You realize you hit my truck, right?” Williams said.
“I’m so sorry,” the woman told Williams. “I didn’t know I hit it.”
“You didn’t hear that loud boom?” Williams asked. “You almost hit me. I was standing right in the road and you almost hit me.”
“I thought I hit a rock or something,” the woman said. “I heard a clunk.”
“Grateful by the grace of God that he wasn’t injured or killed,” said Sheriff Chronister. “I immediately was taken back to going to another deputies funeral.”
The woman was cited for violating Florida’s Move Over Law, the sheriff’s office said.
“Every first responder and roadside worker deserves to make it home to their families without injury at the end of their shift, and dangerous behavior like speeding, distracted driving, or simply failing to move over out of laziness puts their lives at great risk,” said Sheriff Chronister. “We are incredibly thankful that Deputy Williams walked away without a scratch. I hope that other drivers who see his body camera video will think twice the next time they pass someone working alongside the road.”