Monday, December 12, 2011

CCSO Investigating Deputy-Involved Crash

The third in a series of three traffic crashes on a remote section of U.S. 41 East early Monday morning involved a Collier County Sheriff’s deputy in a marked patrol car.

Cpl. Michael Skala was responding to a roll-over crash with his lights and siren activated when his marked patrol car struck the vehicle that had rolled over and was blocking the westbound lanes of U.S. 41 East about half of a mile east of the State Road 29 intersection. Cpl. Skala’s vehicle hit the truck at 1:44 a.m. The driver of the truck was not inside his vehicle at the time of the impact with the patrol car. Cpl. Skala was transported to Physicians Regional Medical Center-Collier Boulevard, where he was treated and later released.

According to Florida Highway Patrol reports, the truck, a Ford F-150, had been traveling east on U.S. 41 East when the driver struck a guard rail, causing the vehicle to flip at 1:30 a.m. Minutes after the truck overturned, it was struck by a westbound Ford Crown Victoria, according to FHP.

FHP is investigating the first two crashes. CCSO is investigating the third crash. As is standard procedure in a deputy-involved crash, CCSO is also conducting an administrative investigation to determine whether the accident was avoidable.

The CCSO accident report indicates that there were no street lights in the area of the crash. Cpl. Skala told investigators that as soon as he saw the truck in the road he swerved and was able to sideswipe the truck rather than make a direct impact.