St Johns deputy cited for careless driving patrol vehicle


300-PALENCIA-SJSO-VS-TRUCKHistoric City News has been informed that a St Johns County Deputy has been cited by the Florida Highway Patrol in a crash that occurred on Thursday August 7th at about 4:00 p.m. along US-1 north, when the deputy rear-ended a 31-year-old female driver when she slowed to obey a traffic control device.

The deputy, 48-year-old Sammy Lee Whitfield, traveling southbound on US-1 in his marked SJSO patrol car, was following behind a 2007 green Honda Pilot driven by Tara Jean Hostetter of St Augustine. When Hostetter slowed for a yellow traffic light at CR-210 West, Whitfield struck her vehicle from behind.

Sheriff’s Commander Chuck Mulligan told Historic City News that Whitfield was on duty at the time of the crash. Florida Highway Patrol Lieutenant L. G. Johnson reported that a traffic citation charging Deputy Whitfield with careless driving was issued on August 12.

Whitfield is a Youth Resources Deputy assigned to a St Johns County School. However, when Historic City News asked why the deputy would be out in a patrol car at that time of day when school had not yet started, Mulligan explained that, during the summer months, these officers do still work other assignments, as he said happened in this case.

According to the incident report, neither party sustained injuries requiring medical treatment.

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