A 22-year-old Niceville man was involved in a crash with an Escambia County Sheriff’s Office vehicle last week. The man was southbound when he crossed the center line and struck the front of marked patrol car. At the time, the Deputy was conducting a vehicle escort on Scenic Highway. According to investigators, the driver of that vehicle said he intentionally collided head-on with the Deputy in an attempt to commit suicide. The Niceville man’s vehicle overturned after the head-on collision and was not wearing a seatbelt which resulted in injuries. The Deputy sustained injuries as well, but he was wearing a seat belt.
Our thoughts go out to the injured in this tragic accident.
Because the Deputy was on the job when he was injured, he will probably have to file a worker’s compensation claim. If he was not working when he was injured, he may have a claim for intentional misconduct which is an action committed when the person knew that his actions could cause harm and did not care, or had an intentional want to harm others. There is also the ability to potentially go around workers compensation and file a claim since in Florida there is an intentional-tort exception to employers’ workers’ compensation immunity. Also, the law of strict liability could apply in some circumstances and neither negligence nor intent would need to be shown. If there is a lawsuit which comes out of this tragic accident, it will be interesting to see where it goes.