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Sheriff Issues Report of Crash Involving Deputy and Driver’s Right-of-Way Violation

| March 27, 2014

Flagler County Sheriff's deputies were involved in two crashes in five days between last Thursday and Monday. In the foreground, the cruiser that was involved in a collision with a motorcyclist on Seminole Woods Boulevard last week, and behind it, the cruiser involved in Monday's collision with a pick-up truck driver on U.S. 1. (c FlaglerLive)

Flagler County Sheriff’s deputies were involved in two crashes in five days between last Thursday and Monday. In the foreground, the cruiser that was involved in a collision with a motorcyclist on Seminole Woods Boulevard last week, and behind it, the cruiser involved in Monday’s collision with a pick-up truck driver on U.S. 1. (c FlaglerLive)

The Flagler County Sheriff’s Office on Thursday issued the crash report detailing the circumstances surrounding wreck involving a sheriff’s deputy and a Bunnell resident outside Grand Reserve in Bunnell.

Colby N. Mikloiche was cited for violating a right of way after Deputy John Bray, a 12-year veteran of the agency, rear-ended Mickloiche’s pick-up truck outside the entrance to Grand Reserve, on U.S. 1. The crash investigation, which is ongoing, was conducted by the Sheriff’s Office’s Sgt. Michael van Buren.

Bray was at the wheel of his 2008 Ford Crown Victoria. Mickloiche, 19, a resident of Goldview Court, was driving a 2000 Ford F-350 pick-up truck.

Mickloiche told van Buren that he had just come out of the Grand Reserve subdivision, turning left onto the southbound lanes of U.S 1. Mickloiche said he took the left-side, or inside lane. He saw the sheriff’s cruiser but thought it was in the outside, right-hand lane “and must have been changing lanes to the inside,” the report states, “when the crash occurred.” The report notes that lighting conditions at 6:59 a.m., when the crash took place, were dark and without street lighting. “There is also a left hand turn lane that might have been mistaken by [Mickloiche] to be the inside” lane, the report states.

Bray, who was seriously injured in the crash and transported to Halifax hospital in Daytona Beach, where he underwent surgery, was not able to recall details of the crash when van Buren initially spoke to him.

The crash was witnessed by another driver, Albert Johnson of Palm Coast. Johnson told van Buren that he was traveling behind Bray’s cruiser since both had turned south onto U.S. 1 from White View Drive in Palm Coast. Johnson was in the outside lane at the time, Bray in the inside lane. As Bray approached Grand Reserve, Mickloiche’s pick-up pulled into the inside lane, according to Johnson, right in front of Bray. Johnson said Bray never applied the brakes, but “appeared to swerve right just prior to impact in an effort to avoid the collision.”

The point of impact was near the center line between the inside and outside lane, the report states, with scuff marks indicating that Bray was veering right at the point of impact. The left-front corner of the Crown Victoria struck the right-rear bumper of the pick-up truck. After the impact, the left side of the cruiser continued to scrape up the right side of the pick-up, cutting the pick-up’s right-rear tire striking the tool compartment. The truck bed of the pick-up “protruded” into the windshield of the deputy’s cruiser, contributing to Bray’s injuries.

The crash report states that Mickloiche was cited for “violation of right of way for entering the highway from a stop sign into [Bray’s] travel lane when [Bray’s cruiser] was approaching so closely on said highway as to constitute an immediate hazard.”

On Tuesday, the investigative deputy requested that the Florida Highway Patrol analyze deputy Bray’s cruiser’s black box for data that will show the speed at which he was traveling at the time of the collision. That analysis has not yet been produced.

Bray, the crash report notes from available evidence, was not wearing a seat belt at the time of the crash. (Florida has a mandatory seat belt law, with fines of $30 for failure to wear a seat belt.)

The investigation is ongoing. It is still not clear why the sheriff’s office, rather than Bunnell police or the Florida Highway Patrol, is conducting the investigation, though the sheriff’s office has done such investigations on its own personnel when it’s determined that the deputy driving is not at fault.

Bray Crash Report

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19 Responses for “Sheriff Issues Report of Crash Involving Deputy and Driver’s Right-of-Way Violation”

  1. Johnny Taxpayer says:

    The witness statement that the cruiser did not apply the brakes is interesting, and perhaps enough reason for another department to take over this investigation.

    • DrivingSchool says:

      You don’t want to brake when you are making fast turns, it causes you to ether not make the turn, or to lose control.

      Sgt. Bray did what he was trained to do when a sudden traffic problem comes up; steer the car.

      • Johnny Taxpayer says:

        That’s certainly a possibility, it’s also just as possible he was distracted by his laptop and only noticed the pickup truck at the last second. Either way, the investigation should be completed by someone other than the department involved.

      • NortonSmitty says:

        And just how did that work out for him?

  2. confidential says:

    One more violation of right of way that could have cost Officer Brady’s life! I really hope he recovers well!
    As for the driver at fault he needs to stop on stop signs as well at nights as the fact that Rte 1 is a 2 lane highway does not justify him to ignore the stop sign. Added to the fact that law enforcement and any emergency vehicle should be yield to.

  3. Mary Cannady says:

    How can the Sheriff’s department issue tickers for not wearing seat belts when their own officers don’t follow the laws?

  4. Initialjoe says:

    Is that blood on the vehicle in the background???

  5. tom jacks says:

    The deputy never hit his brakes, just rammed the pickup in the rear. In my humble opinion the deputy was as much at fault as the other driver .

  6. Bill says:

    If Bray had applied his brakes could or would the crash been avoided?

    • Oops says:

      It’s doubtful as hard breaking tends cause under steer. The correct action is to steer away and quickly as possible and not to break until it is safe to reduce vehicle control. FDLE EVOC teaches evasive driving is better than hammering down on the brakes.

  7. Steve Wolfe says:

    Sure sounds familiar to me. I have commented on FL before that I get the impression that there is an open contest to see who can cut in front of someone else closer. Now that a deputy has suffered a severe loss in this contest, I hope that all deputies will be vigilant and cite lots of the mindless contestants. While they’re at it, I want them to also pull texting drivers over, and taser them on the side of the road till they smoke (just a little). Oh, and the same for litter bugs. Don’t waste the court’s time with citations for texting and littering. Thise people are so stupid that they won’t remember anything except pain. And that smell….

  8. m&m says:

    It appears as always that police travel in the passing lane with no apparent reason. People who drive in the passing lane at or below the posted speed limit should be ticketed for obstructing traffic..

  9. Flatsflyer says:

    No mention of the Deputy being distracted by using his onboard computer, this should be checked by message time, etc. I have personally seen Deputies working on the computer numerous times while driving and that should not be allowed. When a Deputy does not wear his seatbelt that makes a loud statement to the public, “do as I say not as I do” That act in itself should result in a suspension with loss of pay.

  10. Brakes don't mean no Accident says:

    Hitting the brakes during a situation like that can lead to an uncontrollable skid or fishtail right into the grassy medium and into the path of on coming cars on the opposite side of the hwy, has a happened a million times resulting in death because of swerving and instinctively slamming on the brakes.

  11. just the facts says:

    Confidential you forgot to mention the deputy not wearing his seat belt could have cost him his life also. I guess we have two sets of laws, one for them and another set for the poor working man.

    • Anonymous says:

      Well most of the people in palm coast make their own laws while driving..nothing like passing people on the right or getting cut off here on a dailey basis.. But everyone commenting knows what they are talking about..

      Being a working person in palm’s amazing how many times people will cut you off or turn in front of you as they think they own the road.. Just the facts someone could have lost their life for another’s stupidety.. Bash the deputy but what was the other driver doing??

  12. Florida LEO says:

    Ok, I’m a local LEO, but different agency. Based on the information provided here and nothing more, I would cite the other driver and not the sergeant as at fault. I hope Sergeant Bray makes a speedy recovery. I also hope this raises awareness of careless drivers, so more traffic enforcement can be done.

  13. anonymous says:

    The fact that he did not apply his brakes is evidence of the fact that he did not see the other vehicle until it was too late. The witness said he swerved, which was the only evasive maneauver he could make when the vehicle pulled in front of him abrubptly. Why are so many so quick to blame the deputy and accuse the agency of a cover up? Policy allows the agency to investigate the crash if the deputy is not believed to be at fault. It blows my mind that so many in the public want to crucify a good deputy without any knowledge of the facts pertinent to this crash.

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