Florida Keys News - Islamorada/KL Free Press
Wednesday, April 2, 2014
FHP: Deputy at fault in accident

KEY LARGO -- A Florida Highway Patrol investigation into a collision between a Monroe County Sheriff's cruiser and a motorcycle points the blame at the deputy.

"We decided the deputy was at fault," said FHP Lt. Kathleen McKinney.

Deputy Timothy Hunsberger was turning onto U.S. 1 from County Road 905 at 9 p.m. Feb. 23 when he struck Daniel Perez Cruz of Orlando, according to an FHP report.

Cruz, 60, was operating a 2011 Honda Road King and Hunsberger was driving a 2011 Ford Crown Victoria when the accident occurred. Both vehicles sustained about $1,000 in damage, according to the report.

Cruz was airlifted to Miami's Ryder Trauma Medical Center, where he was treated for serious injuries. He was not wearing a helmet, according to an FHP report.

Hunsberger told troopers he was responding to a call for back up from another deputy handling an arrest when the accident occurred. The investigation revealed the deputy rolled through the Mile Marker 106 stop sign without using his emergency lights.

He was cited for failing to yield. Alcohol was not believed to be a contributing factor.

Sheriff Rick Ramsay said an internal investigation would begin at the end of the FHP's case. Hunsberger was not taken off the road following the accident, and wasn't questioned about it pending the FHP investigation.

Moving forward, he will likely be contacted by an internal affairs officer who will investigate and make disciplinary recommendations, if necessary, to Ramsay.

Hunsberger was hired as a communications officer in July 2007 and promoted to road deputy in June 2011. He has no history of a poor driving record, his office said.

jgore@keysnews.com

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