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Man Killed, Flagler Sheriff’s Deputy Injured in SR100 Collision Just West of Bunnell

| February 13, 2013

The Flagler deputy's cruiser rear-ended the van on SR100. Click on the image for larger view. (© FlaglerLive)

The Flagler deputy’s cruiser rear0-ended the van on SR100. Click on the image for larger view. (c FlaglerLive)

Last Updated: 5:15 p.m.

A man was killed and a Flagler County Sheriff’s deputy injured this morning in a collision on State Road 100, just west of Bunnell, that also involved a special-needs school bus heading to Indian Trails Middle School.

The victim, Eduardo Luis Pacheco, is 64, according to a Florida Highway Patrol spokesman, and is from Bunnell. He was at the wheel of a 1999 Chevrolet van. The sheriff’s deputy is Christopher Lee Crego, 31. He’s been with the sheriff’s office for a year and a half. Crego was not wearing a seat belt at the time of the crash, the Florida Highway Patrol said, which contributed to the extent of his facial lacerations.

There was one 15-year-old girl aboard the bus, along with an aide and the bus driver. None of them was injured, though the bus was struck by some debris from the collision. The student made it to school. Her parents were notified. She was paired up with counselors as soon as she got there.

The bus was heading east. The two other vehicles were heading west. The wreck took place at 6:42 a.m. at the intersection of Black Point Road West (also known as County Road 5) and SR100.

The sheriff’s deputy was responding to a call, with his lights and siren on, when the collision happened. Deputy Steve Williams was also responding to the same call in a separate cruiser. Both were responding to another accident call in the area, according to Flagler County Sheriff’s Senior Commander David O’Brien, who would not comment further.

Sheriff’s spokesman Bob Weber said the call for the first accident–the one Williams and Crego were responding to–came into dispatch at 6:34 a.m. That accident was reported at 12500 West State Road 100. Weber did not have information on the outcome of that crash. There was an unconfirmed report that two sheriff’s deputy units were seen speeding past the Bimini bar area virtually side by side shortly before the crash at Black Point Road.

A Florida Highway Patrol spokesman at the scene said Crego was behind the van, riding up fast, when the van either stopped or maneuvered in such a way that the collision followed. The cruiser rear-ended the van violently. The school bus was not at the exact spot of the collision when it happened, the spokesman said, but was getting near.

Dirt tracks on the road, some 20 to 30 feet from the final resting place of the two vehicles involved in the collision, suggest that one or both vehicles may have swerved off the road and back on in the course of the collision. The deputy’s cruiser ended up facing east, in its final resting place. The van was on its roof. As of 9:15 a.m., Pacheco’s body was still next to the van, covered with a white tarp.

Deputies’ cruisers are equipped with GPS units, but Weber did not know how much data the units could provide. On Flagler County school buses, for example, GPS units provide a slew of data, including the bus’s location and speed at 30-second intervals, information that, in case of accidents, helps reconstruct the circumstances. If that data is available from the cruisers, it’ll be part of the FHP’s investigation.

The school bus’s windshield on the driver’s side was cracked from debris, the district’s transportation director later confirmed, and the left-front tire of the bus sustained a small cut that officials believe was from the wreck. The bus has an on-board camera, and video footage, but from inside the bus only. The footage is being turned over to the highway patrol for possible clues. But the wreck took place more than 20 minutes before sunup. It’s not clear whether there was light enough for the camera to pick up what was taking place, or for the angle to have picked up what was taking place outside.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of the driver of the other vehicle and our deputy,” Flagler County Sheriff Jim Manfre said in a release at noon. Crego is scheduled for surgery this afternoon. He does not face life-threatening injuries. “We wish Deputy Crego a speedy recovery,” Manfre said.

In early afternoon the highway patrol released its first written sum-up of the wreck, though the release did not add new information. It read, in part: “The deputy’s vehicle struck the right rear of the white van. This caused the white van to overturn into the grass shoulder and came to rest on its roof. The deputy’s vehicle came to final rest in the grass shoulder. From the initial impact, debris from the patrol car and van struck the front of the school bus.”

But charges are pending additional investigation. State Road 100′s affected segment was closed for three and a half hours.

Flagler County Fire Rescue and the Bunnell Fire Department responded to the wreck, as did units of the Flagler County Sheriff’s Office. The Florida Highway Patrol sent several units to investigate. FHP District Commander Cpt. Jerrell Crews was also at the scene, an indication of the sensitivity of case. The Palm Coast Fire Police diverted traffic just past Bimini, onto Black Point Road East, to Black Point Road West.

[This is a developing story. More details and images soon.]

Click on the image for larger view. (c FlaglerLive)

Click on the image for larger view. (c FlaglerLive)

Click on the image for larger view. (c FlaglerLive)

Click on the image for larger view. (c FlaglerLive)

Click on the image for larger view. (c FlaglerLive)

Click on the image for larger view. (c FlaglerLive)

Tracks from the collision about 20 to 30 feet ahead of the final resting place of the vehicles. click on the image for larger view. (c FlaglerLive)

Tracks from the collision about 20 to 30 feet ahead of the final resting place of the vehicles. click on the image for larger view. (c FlaglerLive)

Click on the image for larger view. (c FlaglerLive)

Click on the image for larger view. (c FlaglerLive)

Click on the image for larger view. (c FlaglerLive)

Click on the image for larger view. (c FlaglerLive)

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99 Responses for “Man Killed, Flagler Sheriff’s Deputy Injured in SR100 Collision Just West of Bunnell”

  1. shocked says:

    Isn’t it the law to wear a seat belt? Can somebody tell me why the officer wasn’t wearing one?


  2. cj says:

    If you don’t like the police, next time call a criminal to help you… All I see here are people throwing stones… I’m disgusted…


  3. really? says:

    A lot of comments on unknown facts at this time. The school bus video should be reviewed and the black box data (if pulled) should be examined. (This should have recorded speed and seat belt use.) I’m not sure of all events prior to the crash but Florida State Statute is very clear in regards to speed:

    “316.183 (1) No person shall drive a vehicle on a highway at a speed greater than is reasonable and prudent under the conditions and having regard to the actual and potential hazards then existing. In every event, speed shall be controlled as may be necessary to avoid colliding with any person, vehicle, or other conveyance or object on or entering the highway in compliance with legal requirements and the duty of all persons to use due care.”

    If speed was such that due care was not heeded, then a policy change needs to be enacted regulating it.


  4. Nucola says:

    First off we are all human no matter what badge or name header you have.. No one knows what happened and it was said that at one point that both was riding side by side. RECKLESS!!!! Humans with license is a death trap… Humans with police cars are MORE OF A DEATH TRAP… I have seen some of these new ones don’t even know how to drive and they are highering some out of school with no street courses. Or even crash course. People are jus thrown into these cars with big ego and not what it was ORIGINALLY put in place for to respond and protect.. I have seen some come up on me and there is a whole clear lane next to me… I used to teach truck driving and a lot of the S/O need to add driving into their training along with attitude adjustment…


  5. Madcyn says:

    Prayers go to both families.


  6. flaglers finest says:

    From a reflection of all the negative posts here I say lets get rid of law enforcement and let the people fend forthemselves or go to the police academy and hit the road as a cop themselves. Any takers? Oh thats right no one wants to do it and its easier to complain about something which they have never done.


  7. LOST says:

    Wheres the other deputy……….curious to know what he says…..should be #1 witness…….how did the deputys car end up heading east bound when he re-ended from the west? Somethings not adding up here.


  8. Bostonian says:

    An Absolute Tragedy. Mr. Eduardo, 64, worked hard his whole life and was ready to retire and enjoy his grandchildren. This officer was driving recklessly and killed that man. He should be held responsible for that.


  9. Samuel Smith says:

    Well, don’t worry. I’m sure if it ends up being the officer’s fault, they’ll do the right thing and suspend him with pay for a day or two as punishment.


  10. Outsider says:

    Lost, vehicles frequently spin during a crash and end up facing in a different direction than they were originally traveling. In an offset frontal crash, both vehicles could end up facing the opposite direction of travel. We really need to wait for the results of the investigation, as there could be unknown extenuating circumstances. For example, were all lights working on the van at the time of the crash? I’m not implying this was the case, but it’s just something that could make you say, “Oh,” and change the whole scenario.


  11. christina b says:

    Look, someone else has said it more than once–when you rear-end someone you are always at fault.

    (that is, unless insurance fraud is the cause, and that’s pretty easy to discern in a thorough investigation–and we know that’s not what occurred here, so it’s a moot point anyway).

    It’s also been noted that there’s nowhere to go on that stretch of 100, whether you see or hear lights or sirens or not.

    It’s also been noted that the officer was “side by side” with another.

    It’s also been noted that he was NOT wearing a seatbelt.

    Given all that, it’s pretty easy to rush to judgement and blame the officer.

    And I also in agreement with really?, because this was not “an accident”, it was in fact “a crash”. We’ll never know what was in Mr. Pacheco’s mind at the time, since he did not survive the crash. All we will have is the word of the police and our own experiences with older drivers. Trusting the word of the police is not an easy sell, particularly in this county. All things considered, however, my heart goes out to both Mr. Pacheco’s family for his death, and it also goes out to the Deputy involved. I pray for him a speedy recovery, and that he does the right thing and tells the actual truth about what happened.


  12. Paul Medford says:

    I have an old school buddy who teaches Officers/Deputies driving techniques. One thing he stressess over and over again, is that “they don’t see you or hear you until you are next to them or head on”. In jurisdictions that use only blue colored lights, he tells them they are invisible during daylight hours.

    He also told me about many departments instituting speed limits on officers, depending on the circumstances. One dept. only permits 10mph over the posted limit, unless in pursuit. Then was a whole policy covering the pursuit scenario. I want the police/sheriff there as quick as possible when I call, but not at unnecessary risk to the officers or others.

    The modern day sirens have been quieted from those of years ago, to comply with OSHA regulations. An AC or heater fan set on high will obscure the sound of a modren day siren in an intersection scenario.

    I won’t take a side in this incident, but will make the following comments. Our/some of our Deputies do not follow the traffic laws as they should. Some of our deputies type on their CAD while driving. Some of our deputies talk on cell phobes while driving. I have seen a deputy typing and talking. He was in a Suburban, (Supervisor?) passed me driving down Old Kings, swerving, and almost took the median curb.

    Perhaps Sheriff Manfre needs to review some things with his folks. Make sure there are clear expectations, and that those expectations are met. Loss of life, loss of taxpayer assets in the form of the cruisers, and possible legal actions, are too much to risk.


  13. For get it together says:

    By and then maybe the van pulled back onto the road but didn’t see the next deputy coming and it just all happened in a second. So for all the people pointing fingers at the deputy or the van driver . Go do what this poor van driver and this poor deputy that both had jobs to do that morning and go get yourself a job and stop saying so many negative things about the accident that’s why they are called accidents.


  14. really? says:

    I would have to disagree. This event was not an accident, but a crash. A crash that was caused by some form of error by one or both drivers. Unless of course it can be proved that it was a mechanical defect.


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