Pasco deputy accused of hitting parked car, fleeing scene

- A Pasco County Sheriff’s Deputy is on paid administrative leave. The Florida Highway Patrol says he side-swiped a parked car, and then drove off without reporting the crash.     

“He wasn't even in the road, you know?" said Lyle Frazier.

The Zephyrhills man says what happened near his house early Tuesday morning has him puzzled. A loud noise woke him up just after midnight.

"I heard that noise, you know, like two cars banged each other or something pretty hard," Frazier said.

In the daylight, you can easily see the spots where a car veered off the bumpy dirt road, even driving on the grass after the street dead ends.

FHP says a driver blew through the stop sign where Tucker Road intersects Autumn Palm Drive, swerving to the right, then slamming into the side a parked car.

The owner of the sedan wasn’t home Thursday, but her boyfriend’s mom was.

"When she tried to drive it, the back axle is broke,” the woman said. “It hit it hard enough that it snapped the back axle, so it's completely disabled."

According to officials, Pasco County Deputy Darren Goodwald was behind the wheel. However, instead of reporting the wreck, they say Goodwald turned his patrol vehicle around and took off.

"Oh, he was flying out of here," sad Frazier. "He cut to the right there, he didn't even slow down for the stop sign or anything."

Investigators say Goodwald drove for about a half mile before his marked SUV broke down.  

The sheriff’s office says Goodwald was working extra-duty detail that night, but it's not clear why he left that location.

Turns out, Goodwald is the same deputy FOX 13 News spoke with last week after his stun gun was turned against him by a suspect.

"Every thought going through my mind was that you might die," Goodwald said at the time.

Since the collision, Goodwald has been on paid administrative leave.  He was ticketed for careless driving, and leaving the scene of a crash.

"It's just bizarre, the whole thing.  Nothing we can put together makes any sense."

FHP is still wrapping up their investigation into the hit-and-run.  The Sheriff’s Office says once that's wrapped up, the department will launch an internal affairs investigation.

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