HCSO employee won’t be charged after hitting, killing pedestrian

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TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – An off-duty detention corporal is not facing charges after he hit and killed a 54-year-old man Tuesday morning, thinking he only hit garbage cans, the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office said.

The sheriff’s office said Justin Rhodes, 39, was off duty and on his way to his job at the Orient Road Jail around 6 a.m. He said he was driving his personal vehicle west on Wheeler Road when he hit some garbage cans. He told deputies he got out to assess the damage, and reported the incident to the dispatch center.

Because Rhodes saw no signs of property damage aside from the garbage cans, the sheriff’s office said there was no need to send a deputy to the scene.

A call was made to 911 about 25 minutes later about a body found in the same area of the corporal’s crash. When deputies arrived they found a 54-year-old man dead at the scene.

Detectives determined that in addition to hitting the garbage cans, Rhodes hit and killed the man as well. The sheriff’s office said they are not yet sure if the victim was in the road at the time of the crash.

Rhodes is not facing any charges or administrative action at this time, the sheriff’s office said. The incident will continue to be investigated by the sheriff’s office and will be sent to the State Attorney’s Office for review.

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April 24 2021 08:00 am

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