LUTZ, Fla. - A Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office deputy was nearly hit by a driver who violated Florida's Move-Over Law, Sheriff Chad Chronister said Tuesday.
Video recorded by Deputy Charles Williams' body camera shows him walking back to his patrol vehicle after finishing a traffic stop on Dale Mabry Highway in Lutz earlier this month. As he got to the vehicle, a white Mercedes can be seen coming within a few inches of Deputy Williams, then clipping the front of his car.
"I was again thinking, oh, my God, we're going to another deputy's funeral here. Or I might be headed to a hospital," Sheriff Chronister said.
The deputy drove after her and pulled her over a short distance later. During their interaction, the driver can be heard giving a series of excuses as for why she didn't move over a lane or slow down.
"I didn't know I hit it," she said.
"You didn't hear that loud boom?" Deputy Williams responded. "You almost hit me! I was standing right in the road, and you almost hit me."
"I'm so sorry." she said, admitting at one point she heard a "clunk." "Honestly, I thought I hit a rock or something."
"You didn't see me standing right in the road?" the deputy asked her.
"I did not," she responded.
Sheriff Chronister said there are no excuses for violating the state's Move-Over Law.
"A bunch of excuses," the sheriff said. "But none would have been justifiable enough when I had to call his loved ones and let them know that he's seriously injured or dead because someone didn't follow a law that's designed to keep everyone safe."
The driver was ticketed for violating Florida's Move-Over Law, which drivers to move over a lane for stopped first responders, sanitation crews, utility vehicles, tow trucks, wreckers, maintenance workers or construction vehicles with lights flashing.
If drivers are unable to move over a lane, they're required to slow down to 20 miles an hour or less than the posted speed limit.