Lutz, FL – A Hillsborough County sheriff’s deputy was just inches from being struck by a passing vehicle that clipped his patrol vehicle while he was on a traffic stop earlier this month (video below).
The incident occurred in the area of Holly Lane and North Dale Mabry Highway at approximately 9:40 p.m. on May 4, the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office (HCSO) said in a press release on Tuesday.
Hillsborough County Sheriff Chad Chronister released bodycam footage showing HCSO Deputy Charles Williams as he was walking back to his patrol truck after a traffic stop, WFTS reported.
That’s when a woman in a Mercedes sped past, narrowly missing Deputy Williams as she hit the side of his vehicle, the video showed.
Bodycam footage captured the crunching sound of the collision.
Despite having hit the patrol truck, the driver failed to stop and continued traveling down the road.
“I just had a white Mercedes hit my vehicle,” Deputy Williams deputy said over the radio just before he jumped into his patrol car and took off after the driver.
“Even after getting behind the driver with his lights and siren activated, she continued driving,” the HCSO said in the video release.
When the woman finally pulled over, Deputy Williams approached her driver’s side window and knocked on it, bodycam footage showed.
“I’m sorry,” she immediately said as he opened her door and told her to step out of the car.
“You realize you hit my truck, right?” the deputy asked her a moment later.
“I’m so sorry,” she replied. “I thought I heard…I didn’t know I hit it.”
“You didn’t hear that loud ‘boom?’” Deputy Williams countered. “You almost hit me!”
The woman told the deputy she thought she “hit a rock or something,” bodycam footage showed.
As long as it is safe to do so, motorists are required under Florida law to move over one lane for first responders, wreckers, utility workers, sanitation, and construction vehicles that have their warning lights activated, WFTS reported.
If drivers can’t safely move over, they must reduce their speed and proceed with caution.
“Every first responder and roadside worker deserves to make it home to their families without injury at the end of their shift, and dangerous behavior like speeding, distracted driving, or simply failing to move over out of laziness puts their lives at great risk,” Sheriff Chronister said.
“We are incredibly thankful that Deputy Williams walked away without a scratch,” the sheriff added. “I hope that other drivers who see his body camera video will think twice the next time they pass someone working alongside the road.”
Watch the incident unfold in the video below:
IF YOU SEE LIGHTS 🚨🚔…MOVE OVER ➡️ 🚘#SheriffChadChronister is sharing a scary reminder of what can happen when drivers don't follow Florida's Move Over Law. #teamHCSO Dep. Williams came within inches of being struck by a passing car! #moveover #florida #safetytip #PSA pic.twitter.com/wPpyBPVT8i
— HCSO (@HCSOSheriff) May 17, 2022