Port Orange, FL – A woman shopping on Amazon while driving crashed into Volusia County Sheriff Mike Chitwood as he was out riding his bike on Thursday and immediately fled the scene (video below).
The incident was captured by the dashcam of Waste Pro truck driver Allen Ramos, who happened to be traveling in the same direction, according to the Associated Press.
The video showed the vehicle slamming into the sheriff, then speeding off without missing a beat.
Investigators later tracked down the 20-year-old hit-and-run driver, who initially claimed to have collided with a mailbox while shopping on Amazon on her phone, bodycam footage showed.
She kept with her story until the deputy told her family she had hit the sheriff – not a mailbox.
“There was a crash today…she did not hit a mailbox,” the deputy told the suspect’s family. “You want to know what she hit? Mike Chitwood, the sheriff…and she didn’t stop.”
The woman, later identified as Paige Bergman, was arrested for leaving the scene of a crash that caused bodily harm, WESH reported.
Sheriff Chitwood suffered a fractured fibula, road rash and a gash from being hit by the passenger side mirror of the woman’s vehicle, he said in a Facebook post on Friday.
“The young lady who hit me…says she was shopping on Amazon on her phone,” the sheriff wrote. “Please let this be a warning to put your phones down while you’re driving before you kill someone.”
“I know this young woman had no intention of running me down. That’s what a lot of distracted drivers say after they cause a tragedy,” he added. “Just imagine if that had been a child or an elderly person on that bike, or if the car drifted a couple more inches to the right.”
Sheriff Chitwood said he considered himself lucky to be back on his feet.
“To Allen Ramos, the WastePro truck driver who witnessed the crash, got it on video and pulled over to give me a hand: I will never forget what you did for me,” the sheriff wrote. “There were several others who pulled over to help, too, and I appreciate each and every one of you.”
Sheriff Chitwood also expressed his “sincere appreciation’” for the “outstanding” work of the enforcement officers and personnel who helped him in the wake of the crash.
“I am so proud of the incredible work you do every day, and this is one more example of it,” he wrote.
Watch the incident unfold in the video below. Warning – Graphic Content:
Thank you all again for your messages and kind words. I have some road rash, a few stitches on the gash from the passenger side mirror and a fractured fibula that the doctors hope will heal on its own. I consider myself lucky to be back on my feet today. pic.twitter.com/phspkf9LO3
— Mike Chitwood (@SheriffChitwood) March 19, 2021