Two deputies injured when one rear-ends the other

The two Bradford County officers' cars collided on the way to a call for help.

Two sheriff's deputies were injured when one patrol car rear-ended another on State Road 100 in Bradford County on Sunday night. (Photo courtesy of Bradford County Sheriff's Office)

Published: Monday, August 1, 2011 at 5:07 p.m.
Last Modified: Monday, August 1, 2011 at 5:07 p.m.

Two Bradford County Sheriff's Office deputies were injured and their patrol cars demolished in a Sunday night crash with each other as they drove to an emergency call for help.

Deputies Christopher S. Register, 23, and Christopher G. Bennett, 34, were on their way to the same call when the crash happened at 9 p.m. Sunday, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.

Sheriff's spokesman Capt. Brad Smith said his agency got a call from a 6-year-old child who said their mother was not breathing. Smith said the mother is expected to fully recover.

“The shift supervisor on duty knew about the woman's (medical) situation and so decided to dispatch the deputies — along with medic units — because it was possible they could get there faster,” Smith said.

Register, driving a 2008 Ford, was heading south on State Road 100 behind Bennett, who was also going south in a 2010 Ford. FHP Sgt. J. Powell said the patrol cars were approaching Southeast 97th Street when Bennett began to slow and Register rear-ended his car.

Bennett's car hit a power pole before coming to a stop, Powell said, and Register's car came to a stop on the east shoulder of SR 100.

Smith said he spoke to the deputies following the crash and Bennett said he began slowing down because he thought he may have missed the turn to the woman's home. Smith said that as Bennett was slowing in the lead car, Register also began to suspect he had missed the turn and looked away briefly to glance at the map information on his computer.

Register, who injured a wrist and was cut above an eye, according to Smith, was treated at Shands at the University of Florida and released early Monday morning.

Bennett was being held longer for observation, Smith said, because of a broken collarbone and a serious gash on his head.

Register has been a Bradford County deputy since October after working for the Florida Department of Corrections for three years.

Bennett was hired by the Sheriff's Office in January after working five years in law enforcement elsewhere and three years in the construction industry.

Smith said his agency will review FHP's reports on the crash before deciding if any action needs to be taken.

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