Early Sunday morning Flagler County Sheriff’s deputies patrolling in Palm Coast’s R Section tried to stop a man on a bicycle. The man dropped the bike and ran into the woods, prompting deputies to start a search.
Deputy David Lichty had been on patrol for 10.5 hours when he responded to the incident in the R-Section. He was driving north on Belle Terre Parkway.
Near Palm Coast Fire Station 25, just south of the intersection with Royal Palms Parkway, his vehicle “lost traction and began to spin, striking two trees in the median,” according to a supervisor’s report of the crash.
Lichty, 25, was at the wheel of a 2011 Crown Victoria. The vehicle uprooted one tree and struck another and downed a road sign, severely damaging the front of the vehicle, its rear and passenger side. The collision injured Lichty, who was taken to Florida Hospital Flagler. “He was treated and released with minor injuries,” Sheriff’s Cmdr. Mark Strobridge said today. No other vehicle was involved.
The crash took place at 4:31 a.m., according to 911 notes. The deracinated tree blocked both southbound lanes of Belle Terre Parkway, prompting the dispatching of the Palm Coast Fire Police for traffic control in addition to Flagler County Fire Rescue and the Palm Coast Fire Department. The Florida Highway Patrol was notified at 4:50 a.m. but didn’t get there until 6:19 a.m., according to dispatch notes.
John’s Towing towed the vehicle to the county’s fleet management grounds, which the sheriff shares, behind the Government Services Building in Bunnell. By then nine sheriff’s units and an FHP supervisor had also responded to the crash.
The sheriff’s supervisor’s report lists the crash as “preventable with extenuating circumstances.” It does not explain the extenuating circumstances. The crash is being investigated by FHP, and the supervisor’s report, which will include a managerial review, will not be completed until FHP’s investigation is done.
The Sheriff’s Office hired Lichty in October 2016 as part of the Neighborhood Services Division. He had previously worked for four years in the U.S. Military Police Corps in Fort Polk, La.
For all the mileage they log on county and city roads, deputies’ crashes are relatively rare. The vehicle in this case is estimated to have sustained $10,000 in damages, according to the supervisor’s report.
The man deputies were seeking in the R Section was not located.
Sounds like careless driving to me – make him pay for the repairs not the taxpayers.Sounds like a lame excuse !!!
God Bless and Godspeed to Deputy Lichty he’s a good Deputy with a great career ahead of him… Thank You for your service Deputy,and get well, can’t wait see you back on patrol!
Looks like our deputies need driving lessons!
Must have been ‘black ice”! ROTF Back to defensive driving school for that officer.
Those cars are notorious for spinning out in wet conditions be careful
10.5 hours patrolling and mostly at night? Maybe he was very tired driving on call at 4.58 am? With the extreme stressful work our deputies do day in and day out…I figured that maybe they work normal no more than 40 hours a week schedules? Always that the info gave to FL was correct…
Rick Kang says
Speeding will anyone to have an accident!
So sorry to hear he was injured and wishing for a speedy recovery. I value and appreciate all first responders. I agree with palmcoaster with some additions and questions. The job is difficult enough but logging extra hours on the night shift shouldn’t be needed or allowed. Perhaps, like many others, he is having to work a second job to live here. AND, there should be reason for the city to NOT have the number of first responders and emergency personnel needed and provide them their worth. Unless, they don’t stay. The citizens and deputies, also, need this security and having fast backup available. And, why was he in a 2011 patrol car??? Why are they not provided with the latest and safest? No telling what was wrong with it to put all at risk.
Barney Fife says
Ridiculous driving like that to attempt a capture of a man on a bicycle.
Just the truth says
Speeding and poor driving.
Has been a first responder myself when you get a call you tried to get to the scene as quickly as possible. Don’t forget there was raining and the roads were wet. As First Responders they work 12-hour shifts some work 24-hour shifts it is not an easy job. Stop putting blame on the officer who one day you may need. It does not matter what time the call came in is this man on the bicycle we’re to break in your home or cause some other harm you would want an officer there ASAP. So stop your negative comments and say a prayer for the officer.
Bill harvey says
Real bright, guy is already in the woods running or hiding and probably no immediate threat to life but he speeds to the scene after 10 1/2 hours already on the road . 10,000$ damage , takes out trees this equals a high rate of speed and for what? All u have is a Bicycle now let the deputy ride the bicycle since he doesn’t have a patrol car anymore and then maybe in the meantime give him some EVOC training The problem here we have many young deputies in their early 20s getting off on the lights and siren They have no idea what they’re doing behind the wheel . I also wonder if he was wearing his sunglasses , years ago there was a deputy that hit a guide wire to a telephone pole on old kings road and that was the result of speed more than likeli
Get well soon officer , you guys do a great job but remember don’t risk you life for a non critical call be safe out there fcso.
Florida voter says
I’m glad to hear that Deputy Lichty had only “minor injuries.” Even more fortuitous is the fact that no one else was involved in the accident.
I am concerned about the level of response that this single-car accident seemed to elicit. If I’m reading the two paragraphs near his picture correctly, there were:
– Palm Coast Fire Police (what is “Fire Police?”)
– Flagler County Fire Rescue
– Palm Coast Fire Department
– NINE (9) Sheriff’s units
– FHP Supervisor
I can understand the “Fire Police” for traffic control, the “Fire Rescue” as first responder, the FHP Supervisor since it was a deputy who was involved and one or two additional Sheriff’s units, but NINE (9) AND the Fire Department? How much man-power did this SINGLE-CAR accident require? Why did it require taking NINE (9) Sheriff’s units from their patrols and other duties? We need to ask “what would the response be for a single-car drunk driver accident,” and “is the response for this accident appropriate?”
The paint used at intersections dividing line etc. gets very slippery when wet. Why can’t some grit be added to the paint and give all of us a little grip on the road?
The deputies injuries are my first concern, could have been way more serious. Now for the rest if it:
1. Traction on Crown Vics are terrible.
2. Response time is an important part when you are the caller.
3. Guy dumping his bike and running could be wanted for murder, rape…
4. As long as the officer doesn’t have a pattern it’s no big deal
5. Other cops will call him “crash” for the next 20-30 years
6. If he gets a ticket he should get no discipline.
7. Sheriff and his crew do a great job, I’m sure the Sheriff and his staff with handle the situation to see it doesn’t happen again.
8. Haters gonna hate!
David S. says
Florida voter I have to agree with you. Maybe if it was an officer involved shooting or an officer down I could see the response but this was way over the top.
Jenn- You pick and choose when you put your self and other in harms way to get to a call. There was no reason for this and working a 12 hour shift is not an excuse. If the boy can’t handle a mans job, then he needs to be fired. This was not an urgent situation and if the roads were wet the driver should have been more cautious! This is what happens when young deputies are hired. How many mishaps have deputies had in the last 5 years–Yea, too many to count and we flip the bill. If you are going to enforce the law, follow the law!
Concerned Citizen says
Best wishes and speedy recovery to the deputy. Regardless the outcome I’m sure he will be a bit more careful next time.
Now for some friendly criticism.
I retired from the public safety sector and completely support our men and women in Law Enforcement. However they are human beings just like the rest of us and exercise poor choices in driving. In the past few weeks as I drive Palm Coast Pkwy and 100 I have observed the following.
– Tail gating ( Seems especially rampant as you approach the Hammock) And that speed limit is 45 I believe.
– Erratic lane change. Watched a Deputy decide last minute he wanted Chic-Fil-A for breakfast from the far right hand lane. No signal and cut several motorists off. Had that been you or I we would have been stopped.
– Speeding. Can’t tell you how many times a patrol car has gone past me doing at least 15 over. If you are answering a call use emergency equipment to let us know. Other wise you also have to obey the speed limit.
– Violating Right Of Way. Several times on White View have see units roll thru a stop sign or shoot across with scant separation or enough time to avoid a collision
– Motor Units have a tendency to weave in and out. Watched a motor unit cut someone off pulling out of Race Trac. He then rode the white line between cars to get to turn lane.
Men and Women of the Sheriffs Office we value the job you do every day. We know it can be long and tiring. However you drive motor vehicle and are subject to the same laws you enforce. You should also be held more accountable because you are a sworn Law Enforcement Officer.
Is it really worth it to possibly injure a civilian because you think you’re in a hurry? Slow down a bit and take your time. We all want you home at the end of the day. :)
To The Sheriff: You want your name in the paper all the time and show up at every scene. How about spending time with your Deputies to make sure they know how to safely operate Patrol Cars?
muh nuts says
David S. says
Agree they expect us to follow the law but they dont.
Terminate! Keeping this Deputy will be an accident waiting to happen. He is too young to be an officer and which ever Sheriff hired him should know that and be ashamed of poor judgment. We can only be thankful that no other vehicles were involved and no one was hurt or killed. This could have been tragic and we don’t need kids as officers in Flagler County. This does not make me feel safe!!!
The Crown Victoria is in an ICU and it looks as though she
isn’t going to make it. I hope that her parts aren’t scavenged.
Is she a donor? Then she can help other Crown Vics waiting
for starters, rotors, alternators, and drive shafts. She can live
on in those cars through that final altruistic act.
She served unselfishly and was well liked. She almost never
blew her horn, or showed up her inferior Focus stablemates.
There wasn’t a dry eye (uh, headlight) to be seen amongst the
other cars in the fleet.
Goodbye Vicky, may you roll again on infinite cruise control
through the puffy cotton ball clouds on the highway to heaven.
Henry Ford will greet you at the pearly gates.
I’m crying and have to go now….