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Flagler Sheriff’s Corrections Deputy Deemed At Fault in T-Bone Crash on US1 and SR100

| March 28, 2013

Flagler County Sheriff's corrections deputy Sandy Gay was at the wheel of a marked Crown Victoria when she blew a red light and crashed into the car driven by Paul Salvador Thursday morning. Click on the image for larger view. (© FlaglerLive)

Flagler County Sheriff’s corrections deputy Sandy Gay was at the wheel of a marked Crown Victoria when she blew a red light and crashed into the car driven by Paul Salvador Thursday morning. Click on the image for larger view. (© FlaglerLive)

Sandy Gay, a corrections deputy with the Flagler County Sheriff’s Office, was on her way to work Thursday morning when, according to police and a witness at the scene, she blew a red light at the intersection of State Road 100 and U.S. 1 and slammed into a four-door Chevrolet driven by Paul Salvador, a local wrecker company’s employee. Gay and Salvador were taken to Florida Hospital Flagler.

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“At this point, it looks like our deputy is at fault,” Undersheriff Rick Staly said at the scene.

The Florida Highway Patrol is investigating the incident, but an FHP investigator at the scene confirmed that “the patrol car is at fault.” The investigator had heard from a witness and watched a surveillance video from a gas station at the intersection that clearly showed the wreck unfold, with apparently incontrovertible evidence that Gay had, for no compelling reason, blown through the red light.

“The video is not going to show the red light,” the FHP investigator said. “However, you’ll see the northbound traffic begin to flow,” meaning north on U.S. 1, car after car, “one, two, three, and then the crash happens. It’s not like the light had just turned red. It had been red for a while.” The investigator, after watching the video again, later specified: “The light had been green for northbound traffic for two to three seconds.”

Gay was in a marked patrol car without the emergency lights on. Staly said she was on her way to work, heading west on State Road 100. The Flagler County Jail is less than two miles from the intersection. (She’s been employed by the sheriff’s office since October 1995; her current base salary is $51,723.)

A witness was behind Gay, in his own car. “I was behind the deputy. She ran the red light,” the witness said. “She was probably about two car lengths in front of me. There was definitely traffic moving north and south. She ran right through it, without any hesitation. There was no brakes or nothing.” He added: “I just watched it happen and pulled immediately to the side, that way there was a witness, and I called 911.”

The extent of the two drivers’ injuries are not known. Gay was taken to the hospital because the air bag deployed, but there was no indication that she had serious injuries. Salvador was taken to the hospital on a stretcher. The investigator estimated that Gay was traveling at 25 miles per hour, while Salvador was traveling at about 15, and that because of the slower speeds, their injuries would be limited. The deputy was wearing a seat belt.

Salvador is an employee with John’s Towing, the wrecking company on rotation for that crash. The company’s owner, John Rogers, was at the scene. “Normally he commutes up from Volusia County on his motorcycle,” Rogers said of his employee. “Thank God he wasn’t on it today. He drives on his motorcycle in all kinds of weather.”

The crash took place at 8:36 a.m. Bunnell police and sheriff’s deputies diverted southbound traffic on U.S. 1 on the approach to the intersection, which was cleared by 9:15, when normal traffic flow resumed.

For the sheriff’s office, the crash, while not grave, is the latest in a series of incidents or issues that have diverted attention from Sheriff Jim Manfre’s new administration. On February 13, a sheriff’s deputy–Christopher Lee Crego–was at the wheel of a patrol car, speeding west to a call on State Road 100, when he rear-ended a van, killing Eduardo Luis Pacheco, 64, the driver. The sheriff’s office is also dealing with two homicides that have taken place on Manfre’s watch, one of them an execution-style killing at a local gas station. And there’s been internal shake-ups at the agency, prompted by Manfre’s management changes.

Manfre was at the Flagler County Library Wednesday evening, talking to the Flagler County Democratic Club–and to a room packed with nearly 70 people–about his new tenure and his vision for the sheriff’s office. An account of that presentation was to appear on this site this morning, only to be preempted by the crash–an ironic illustration of the way Manfre’s agenda has been, on many occasions, hijacked by events.

Paul Salvador was at the wheel of a two-door Ford when he was struck by the deputy's cruiser. Click on the image for larger view. (© FlaglerLive)

Paul Salvador was at the wheel of a four-door Chevrolet when he was struck by the deputy’s cruiser. Click on the image for larger view. (© FlaglerLive)


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

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

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23 Responses for “Flagler Sheriff’s Corrections Deputy Deemed At Fault in T-Bone Crash on US1 and SR100”

  1. christina b says:

    By no means am I painting all Flagler County law enforcement with a bad brush–but I’ve seen more than a few of them lately, seriously speeding up and down US1, and IMO, it is time for all of them to be reminded that they are not above the traffic laws. It is high time for the new Sheriff to have a “Come to Jesus” meeting with his force and make sure they understand that they need to obey the same damned laws that everyone else has to.

  2. Alfred E. Newman says:

    “At this point, it looks like our deputy is at fault,”

    I am thankful and heartened to hear about a police department that takes responsibility
    when one of its people makes a mistake.

    I had to take a minute and express my appreciation for those rarely uttered words.
    I am hopeful that everybody involved is OK.

  3. Palm Coasting says:

    i once got a ticket for my window tint being too dark. i wonder what Sandy Gay will receive…

  4. tulip says:

    Well well, she blew a red light–imagine that! I don’t know if there is camera there, but at least she was caught and sadly caused an innocent motorist some grief. So much for the integrity of a police or law officer.

  5. John Boy says:

    Why would a corrections Deputy have a “Take Home Car”. Just another example of waste of taxpayer dollars. Free transportation to and from work with the public picking up her gas. No insurance, no maintenance, what a waste. And she has a base salary of over $50,000. plus OT and benefits. No wonder are taxes are constantly increasing? How many others like her have us footing their bills?

    • FCSO PIO says:

      For clarification, it is my understanding that Deputy Gay, a 17-year veteran of the FCSO, had just refueled the agency vehicle which she had used for a 2 a.m. prisoner transport and was on her way back to the Detention Facility when the crash occurred. Deputy Gay was the only occupant of the agency vehicle. Deputy Gay was operating an agency vehicle that is used by Detention Facility personnel and is NOT a “take home car.” Deputy Gay does NOT have “take home car” privileges.

    • The Man says:

      John Boy, my be she was coming back from a DOC run when this happened. So before you pass judgement find out all the facts thank you.

  6. We probably need a 4 way stop here rather than a traffic light. Four way stops are the order of the day in Bunnell.

  7. Bob Z. says:

    Maybe they need a red light camera at that intersection…nice way to set an example deputy!

  8. r&r says:

    Four way ? It’s about time the officer is found at falt.. They and school bus drivers think they own the road and commit more violations then most other drivers..

  9. non-attorney says:

    Well, the sun certainly wasn’t in her eyes, she was heading WEST!

    What’s the hurry, had to be late for work…

  10. Charlene says:

    We probably need “EVERYONE” who is a resident of Florida, go take a yearly driving test with a defensive driving course thrown in. Its getting to a point, ” NO ONE” is obeying traffic lights, stops signs, yield signs, any caution sign. Everyone just does what they want and to hell with the rules. I wish I had a chauffeur to drive me around.

    • question says:

      I feel very uncomfortable posting here as ive never been surrounded by so many people who clearly dont ever make mistakes! She made a mistake, ACCIDENTS happen everyday and no one is above them as the majority of us have all been involved in one at one point or another. So lets just be thankful everyone was ok, as no one goes around intentionally attempting to ruin anyones day!! That surely wasnt how she wanted her morning to start off!

      @TULIP- So much for the integrity of a police/law enforcement officer? The things that need to be said to you Flagler live wont post nor should they! Besides that, no one needs to come down to your level!!!

      • Julie says:

        To just brush this accident off as a mistake s seriously wrong. To run a red light shows that she was not paying attention to the road and that is rule #1 when driving. Pay attention to the road and drive defensive.

  11. Art Vanderlay says:

    The police are in thier cars 24/7, the odds are that no matter how careful, or how much training is provided, accidents are going to happen. Stop picking it apart, it’s an “accident”, they’re gonna happen. Jeez this County is amazing.

    • Nancy N. says:

      A detention deputy isn’t “in their car 24/7”. There is no “their car”. Their work location is the jail, with occasional use of a communal car when needed for a specific task like a prisoner transport.

  12. Maxi says:

    …And don’t forget to signal!

  13. Charles "Bub" Robson says:

    For those of you wanting a “pound” of flesh from the deputies backside, trust me it will happen, there will be a citation, some type of inhouse punnishment, and of course the public outcry that will weigh on the offending party. For those of you that haven’t been a LEO, the inhouse punnishment will be more severe then the citation, just glad there were no serious injuries or fatalities.

  14. The Man 23 says:

    Here is the fact about what happened, was she wrong running the light yes. For those sitting here on this blog making judgement, all because you guys either been in FCIF or just don’t like cop’s point blank. They do a thankless job that none of you can do and want do. It is a tough job to do and on top of that her pay shouldn’t have come up on the report of the accident. Pay have nothing to do with anything. So walk a mile in our shoes before you pass judgement.

  15. just saying II says:

    The people is this county are very unique. These same people are probably the ones that complain about all the red light cameras in Palm Coast. A few weeks ago someone was hit on a bike in Palm Coast, but no one would be calling for that person’s head, but because this was a cop lets hang the deputy.

    I’m really starting to believe this county is full of low lives that hate to see any sight of authority. People seem to have so much anger toward our Sheriff’s Office.

    Deputies allegedly speeding up and down US1…sorry don’t see it. I think people just like to tell tails.

    • Anonymous says:

      I don’t think any deputy should have a take home car. The sheriff’s car is to be used only on duty not on personal business. We tax payers are the ones that are paying for their gas. I have to use my personal vehicle for work and they should too.

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