A pedestrian who was struck Dec. 28 by a Collier County Sheriff’s Office patrol car after he walked into the road died a few days later, according to Florida Highway Patrol.
Troopers say the deputy was headed north on Collier Boulevard when a 70-year-old man walked into the path of his SUV north of Tree Farm Road. It happened at about 6:20 a.m.
“Traffic is heavy,” David Strah said. “I would be hesitant to walk across Collier Boulevard.”
Some neighbors we spoke to said they were not surprised the pedestrian crash happened on this road. Others went as far as saying it needs improvements to become more pedestrian friendly.
“I don’t think people are brave enough to cross Collier Boulevard very often,” Lannie Stegall said.
According to FHP, the man was airlifted to Lee Memorial Hospital with serious injuries and died Jan. 2. The deputy was not injured.
“I am surprised that a deputy would hit someone because they are probably the best drivers in our fleet,” Stegall said.
Russell Valentine lives near Collier Blvd. He says he sees pedestrians walking along the busy road often.
“There are walkways along the road, but to cross the road, there’s not that many locations yet,” Valentine said. “And that’s probably one of the bigger problems.”
Valentine brought up a idea that might mitigate future incidents like this one.
“One solution might be to do the overpasses where you walk up the steps and go over,” said. “It’s always terrible when anyone is injured by anyone, by anyone that’s driving an automobile.”
Collier County Sheriff’s Office said the deputy involved in the crash with the pedestrian is on administrative leave as part of CCSO’s policy.
FHP continues to investigate the crash, and CCSO’s professional responsibility bureau will conduct a policy review of the crash as well.
The Florida Highway Patrol no longer releases the names of those involved in crashes, citing Marsy’s Law.