Flagler County Sheriff Rick Staly and School Superintendent James Tager were involved in a three-vehicle crash on State Road 100 at Belle Terre Parkway Thursday. The Sheriff’s Office played down the incident on its Facebook page and again in the sheriff’s appearance on a radio show this morning as a humorous run-in between officials.
No one was hurt in what amounts to a fender-bender in the literal sense of the term: fenders were bent, but little else. The normal protocol of crash and insurance reports is under way and the sheriff suggested the driver at fault is being sought. Tager took some responsibility for running into a pick-up truck that then ran into the sheriff’s vehicle.
Internal reports at the Sheriff’s Office were still being completed Friday. The Sheriff’s Office described the incident in a statement this way: “The sheriff was driving back to the sheriff’s ops center and he was at the traffic light at State Road 100 and Belle Terre and there was one car in front of him and it was a red light. The light turned green and the car in front of the Sheriff did not go. There was a car stopped behind the sheriff, and superintendent Tager was driving up to the traffic light which was green and he bumped into the truck behind the Sheriff, which pushed that truck into the sheriff’s car.”
Tager in a brief interview said “the lite turned green, I started to move forward and for some reason there was an abrupt stop.” That’s when he “bumped the person in front of me and they bumped into the sheriff so I guess ultimately I’m the first one that made contact.”
The sheriff said a driver in front of the sheriff had pulled forward when the light turned green then abruptly stopped , apparently to make what would have been an illegal turn. That caused everyone behind him to either stop abruptly rear-end the cars ahead. (An earlier version of this story incorrectly reported that Staly had said Tager was not at fault. “He clearly was at fault,” the sheriff said in an email. “What I did say on the radio is the driver that caused (maybe better word contributed) to the crash was the driver that tried to make an illegal left turn. Technically, that driver and Tager are both at fault.”)
The crash was loud enough for Staly to hear from within his car.
“I was getting ready to turn on my blue lights for this guy that actually cause the crash,” Staly said this morning on Free For All Fridays, the radio show. “He was trying to make an illegal left turn, stopping through the thru lane on 100, and then I heard the crash, and I saw the blue pick-up truck being pushed into my vehicle. I tried to inch up as much as I could, if I’d had another probably 6 inches he’d have missed my car. So I get out to check on injuries, and as I checked the first guy [who] was in a blue pick-up truck, as I go to the next car, the superintendent is climbing out of the driver’s seat. Of course I recognized him, I said, ‘You caused all this?’ He goes, ‘Yes, I did.’ So I asked him if he was going to go to driver’s ed school.”
Damage reports were not completed Friday. Tager was driving a white Nissan that got nicked slightly on the front bumper, with some paint scrapes. Even from two different angles, it is difficult to discern any damage on the rear of the blue Chevrolet pick-up truck that Tager’s vehicle struck. Damage to the rear of the sheriff’s dark-gray Ford Explorer is also difficult to notice.
“In the scope of crashes it was very, very minor, fortunately no one was hurt,” the sheriff said. “And if you miss your turn, OK, don’t stop in the middle of the road, just go, make a U-turn where it’s legal, and then pick back up where you want to go. This whole thing could have been prevented. Unfortunately that guy got away because I wanted to check on injuries.”
Staly described the unknown driver’s infraction as “stopping in the roadway during a green light,” and said he had a clue as to the driver himself. “I know his car, it’s a temporary tag on it and I’m looking for it and we will have a chat if I can pick it out.”
No one was cited. The Sheriff’s deputy Greg Nunziato investigated the crash.
Was the Sheriff cited? What happened to defensive driving?
What am I missing here? There’s an image of the car that got away? What sort of citation are you planning on giving this blue pick up truck driver? Illegal turn? You have no probable cause do ya?
“The sheriff said Tager was not at fault. Rather, a driver in front of the sheriff had pulled forward when the light turned green then abruptly stopped “.
What world does the sheriff live in? A driver of a motor vehicle has the duty to control his or her vehicle while operating said vehicle. The driver making contact from the rear is 100% liable . Regardless of what occurs ahead of his course of travel. How about failing to maintain a safe distance. I believe that’s still a uniform traffic code. Or driver inattentive.
Glad all are okay, however I am not surprised. I was driving my motorcycle through an intersection along PC parkway, I had a green light, as I approached the intersection to my left I notice a car disregard her red light, and drove into right-of-way traffic without hesitation into the intersection. I guess she saw the red light and assumed she had a green (as if the cars passing through the intersection was not a clue enough). I almost died – if I was 30 feet further down the road, I’d be dead today. She somehow made it across, with the help of cars jamming up their breaks.
A light turning green and the person fails to roll forward on time is totally normal protocol in this town!
Sounds like a classic texting while driving incedent, hope not!
What’s wrong with you people,you can’t give big wigs tickets!!
How fast was that car going when it backed into the Sheriff?
Whether it’s shooting an unarmed person in the back or a fender bender, cops always get a pass.