William Venne, 80, a member of the Palm Coast City Council from 2000 to 2007, was traveling south on Belle Terre Parkway when, crossing Palm Coast Parkway–he had a green light–he struck a Flagler County Sheriff’s cruiser driven by deputy Darrell Butler, 26. Both men suffered minor injuries, were treated at Florida Hospital Flagler and were released.
Butler was traveling west, his emergency lights activated, on his way to investigate a possible burglary. According to “preliminary information gathered at the scene” by the Florida Highway Patrol, Butler “stopped for a red light before proceeding through the intersection.”
Venne’s 2008 SmartCar, a sub-compact vehicle, struck the cruiser, a 2008 Ford Crown Victoria, on its right side. The vehicles sustained $10,000 in damages each. Both men were wearing their seat belt. Charges are pending reconstruction of the crash, the FHP report states. The crash took place at 6:42 p.m. Thursday.
Eileen G. Miller says
Guess The Smart Car not very Smart…!!
Kendall Clark-StJacques says
I’m impressed with how well the little smart car endured.
Hope both men will recover quickly.
Not so Smart now?
Diarmuid Con says
Crash didnt Happen at 6:42pm its more like 4:42pm
Flagler Live says
We were not at the scene, so we had to rely on authorities’ reports for this one. The FHP report lists the time at 6:42 p.m. It’s quite possible that the FHP intended to write 16:42, which would have made it 4:42 p.m., however, the images of the crash shows the sun much closer to the horizon than mid-afternoon, lending credence to the FHP’s original time stamp.
It was around 1842 or 642pm… I was there.
Holly Lawton Pane says
It was at 6:42, I drove by it on my way to a meeting that started at 7pm
The Truth says
Two men are injured in a car crash and all we can do is joke about the car one of the drivers drove? I’ve lost all hope in humanity.
Hoping for a full recovery for both men.
I would think the whole thing was caught on the red light camera(video) at the intersection. Hope the cop really stopped as indicated in the story.
Kari Craig says
I witnessed the crash from about 20 feet away. I was on Belle Terre waiting to turn right onto Palm Coast Parkway. Butler was weaving through the cars as they were trying to get over for him as he was heading west. He was very careful to make sure no cars were coming before he proceeded through the intersection. I kept looking in my rearview hoping that no one would accelerate through the intersection as he was passing. I saw Venne driving at least 40 MPH or more without slowing. I of course, was saying to my son, I hope he slows down, I know I thought that at least 3 times before he hit Officer Butler at full speed. I have no idea if he was looking at the road or how he didn’t see the Officer passing through. The small smart car hit the cop car dead center at full speed and bounced off of it. I was sure both of Venne’s legs were broken. Butler got out of the cop car a little shaken and seemingly sore, but virtually unharmed while Venne stayed in the vehicle for a long time after the crash. They even powdered the fluids before removing him from the vehicle. I thought that odd though, what would have happened if the car caught fire? After a long wait the officers who arrived on the scene allowed me to proceed through the PC Pkwy light and turn right into CVS. That’s all I saw, which was quite a horrific sight. I am so glad both are okay. I was so concerned about Mr. Venne and his legs! Way to go smart car! Must be some crazy technology in there, or Mr. Venne had someone looking out for him!!
I agree with “The Truth Says and Karma” I’m sure FHP will be requesting the video from the red light cameras and that will shed alot of light and or confirm the accounts of what happened. I hope both recover quickly and completely. Especially the deputy as we don’t need deputies off the streets
Deep South says
Wheather the persuading deputy had a red light, all emergency vehicles have the right of way, when he is in persute with emergencies lights on.
deana carmen says
I am shocked that his little car was as strong as it was. After first seeing the cruiser, I would have thought the little car was totally squished. So glad they both only had minor injuries.
Deep South says
I’m certainly glad that both men are ok, but still a strong proof that elderly drivers should be tested more often.
Just add this to the long list of accidents involving older drivers who probably shoud’nt be behind the wheel.
johnny taxpayer says
Normally I’m happy to jump on the “elderly driver” band wagon, but nothing in this story gives any credence thus far to such a conclusion. Nor should we automatically assume the deputy was in the right, and Mr. Venne was in the wrong.
I am also very surprised at how well the smart car looks to have held up. If it did in fact (as an above poster indicates) strike the large crown Victoria cruiser at 45 mph, the fact that the passenger compartment looks to be very much intact is amazing.
Yeah, we should all thank God for those red light cameras!!!
It’s funny how so many are saying to “refer to the red light cameras” the same cameras that are opposed by so many (not insinuating that the posters are the opposers). Glad both walked away ok.