Early the morning of January 14, Eileen Palermo a 58-year-old resident of Palm Coast’s C-Section, was driving her 2011 Dodge Ram pick-up westbound on Palm Coast Parkway, and curving into the southbound on-ramp for I-95. She was in the inside lane of the two-lane on-ramp. A white vehicle was also entering the on-ramp, in the outside lane.
As both vehicles began making the turn, the white vehicle crossed into Palermo’s lane–and struck her Dodge. The front-left of the white vehicle collided with the rear wheel and cab area of the Dodge, on the passenger side, according to a Flagler County Sheriff’s Office report. That portion of the cab was damaged, and the tire was cut severely enough that it immediately deflated.
The driver of the white vehicle kept going.
Later that afternoon, Samuel Souverain, a 61-year-old resident of Ryall Lane in Palm Coast, was arrested at his home. According to police, he’d been at the wheel of the white Honda Accord that had struck Palermo’s truck. Deputies had interviewed two witnesses after the crash, and had sought information from a set of electronic eyes: the red-light cameras Palm Coast has aggressively installed at dozens of intersections in the city in hopes of increasing revenue while cutting down on red-light runners.
The two witnesses had called the sheriff’s office to report seeing the crash (the two calls were placed within 15 minutes of each other, less than half an hour after the crash). They’d reported that after the crash the Honda had fled east on Palm Coast Parkway, toward Old Kings Road north. One witness described the driver of the vehicle. Another followed the vehicle and got its license tag, enabling cops to identify the Accord as a 1997 four-door model. It was last seen turning south on Colbert Lane, from Palm Coast Parkway.
The crash left a lot of debris at the scene, including a silver hubcap bearing Honda’s logo, and a front amber turn-signal lens assembly, according to the report.
Two red-light cameras face the intersection. The sheriff’s office–which does not control the cameras: a private company, American Traffic Solutions, does, operating them on behalf of Palm Coast; the city has administrative jurisdiction over the material generated by the cameras–acquired video from ATS.
But the sheriff’s office did not have that part of the evidence in hand when it arrested Souverain: it referred to it, telling Souverain that the crash was “believed to have captured the incident on video,” according to the report. The Sheriff’s Office initially made contact with Souverain’s son at the family’s home. The son said he was not capable of driving a manual transmission, and that his father was at work in Volusia County. When Souverain made it home, the investigating deputy noticed a torn-off driver’s side hubcap on the Honda, and the bumper of the car lying on the front and rear seats of the vehicle.
The investigating deputy was able to match some of the debris he had with the vehicle “exactly.” At that point, and after being told of the electronic cameras, Souverain allegedly acknowledged hitting the Dodge, and that he left the scene because he was afraid of losing his job.
Souverain was arrested in place and charged with leaving the scene of an accident, and released, with a notice to appear.
The arrest is the latest indication of the sheriff’s office stepped-up use of Palm Coast’s traffic cameras, which are increasing from 10 to more than 50, and blanketing all the city’s major and medium intersections. The cameras are not only able to track red-light runners, but to track speed and the simultaneous movement of up to 20 vehicles at any intersection where they are installed, by way of a radar system associated with cameras. Palm Coast’s government says it is not using the cameras to track speed.
I’ve noticed the new Sheriff also has more deputies out enforcing the speed limit. (There’s a hint there for you!).
He could have kill somebody & left the scene. No sympathy.
Nancy N. says
Be careful what you do..big brother is watching you….
It just goes to show that the red light cameras are indeed very useful for a variety of things. I’m glad the jerk was caught.
There is a new speed tracking camera located on the Northbound exit from I-95 to SR100…( the Burger King side) .. As soon as you exit, the speed limit is 35mph, and the camera is withing 100 yards of the actual exit, almost impossible to slow from 70 to 35 in that difference…next time you exit look up to the left and there is a camera talking a facial picture of you, the driver,,
That camera is not for speeding it is for truckers that try to avoid weigh stations. Has nothing to do with speeding.
More tickets mean more revenue for the Sheriff’s office. He will need more money to do everything he said he was going to do. I am not referring to the red light tickets.
PC Aviator says
@ Jeannie…the Sheriff’s Office, or any law enforcement agency only gets a few dollars from each citation written….$3-4. The remainder of the fees goes to DOT, DHSMV, the Clerk’s Office. There are also percentages that go toward programs such as student drivers. Ask for a line item of revenues generates/received from citations….not worth the financial impact they place on a majority of the drivers.
So….Manfre will find that money else where….like eliminating more positions to fund the friends/supportets he has or is planning on hiring.
Yea the Deputies doing their jobs because leadership renewed their sense of being cops again but these cameras are junk. This was just a fluke.
PC Aviator says
@PJ: you really think “leadership” can be defined by what this man has done? The deputies on the street have ALWAYS been doing their jobs. RIght now, the AIR at FCSO is one of fear and intimidation. MAnfre violated the Career Service Bill that protects deputies from just whas has happened and a contract protects other deputies from placing deputies wherever he wants without going through a specific process such as appropriate notice and postings, oral boards, etc… Manfre knows he violated both the law and the spirit of the contract but does not care.
He spews nonsense of integrity and ethics. Integrity is “1.possession of firm principles: the quality of possessing and steadfastly adhering to high moral principles or professional standards”
Ethics is defned as “2.code of morality: a system of moral principles governing the appropriate conduct for a person or group”
Definintely not feeling that at FCSO.
Everyone is ducking behind their computer screens hoping and praying they are not the next target.
@Anonymous, those cameras are installed by the FDOT and are for the scales and truckers. Those are not speed monitoring devices and taking pictures.
Safety guy says
This is about catching one driver that left the scene of an accident. It is a good thing the camera was there to help the FCSO catch this idiot lawbreaking criminal. I wish there had been a camera to catch the driver of the car that killed that lady last year. This is not about who was/is a better Sheriff.
Well they are going to have to come arrest me I heard these kickback taking counsel members are bringing yet another McDonalds into town , I want something different to eat, you can t tell me they are gettuing paid kickback money from them and Wendy`s to keep jamming that crap down out gullets , please post the next city counsel meeting this forum ain`t getting it done, I need to talk to these schemers face to face.
F*%& these cameras…I can’t stand them. yes, in this case, they helped catch a hit & run, but they are causing widespread paranoia among drivers. people are slamming on their brakes in fear. slowing down traffic, and causing nar accidents. these cameras have nothing to do with safety, its about $$$$$$$$. recent studies show that if the yellow light is lengthened by just a few seconds, the accident rate drops, as well as red light runners. I mean how many people are actually driving straight thru a red light on purpose, or because they feel like it. I never knew it was such a widespread epidemic.
I drive a heavy trailer for work, and there is a small zone well before the pedestrian line, an if i am driving the speed limit in this “zone” when the light turns yellow, will end up stopping in the middle of the intersection. so I either end up in the middle of the intersection on an attempt to stop, or go thru the light. which by the way isn’t a hazard. when the light turns from yellow to red there is a few seconds of time until the other lane’s light turs green, this is to give traffic in the intersection time to clear out.
Also, it seems to be that the yellow time is shorter only on lights with cameras,
I wonder why this could be…..
he who gives up freedom for security deserves neither.
Turns out Tyranny is not so bad afterall!! I love my big brother
I used Love living here but now a days its like living in the former SOVIET REPUBLIC this Is not the AMERICA I grew up In we were free then ,now we have look behind us to make sure we are not being followed by the KGB or STAZI…. I hate what has become of us.
Mel Bronson says
I NO longer shop in Palm Coast.
They can take their traffic light cameras and shove it. Palm Coast is unfriendly and HOSTILE to visitors.
Palm Coast is OFF LIMITS to any thinking conscous person. Don’t risk getting ticketed unfairly.