Off-duty Broward Sheriff's Office Deputy John Blackwelder killed in motorcycle crash

He was wearing his helmet

An off-duty Broward sheriff's deputy died on Sunday when he crashed his motorcycle into the side of a Cadillac, BSO said.

Stajka Vangov, 75, pulled out in front of Deputy John Blackwelder, 45, said BSO spokeswoman Veda Coleman-Wright.

The deputy on a Honda motorcycle collided with Vangov's Cadillac at Commercial Boulevard and Northeast Third Avenue when she tried to turn left across his path.

Blackwelder died on the scene in Oakland Park around 12:30 p.m. He was wearing his helmet, Coleman-Wright said. Vangov was not injured.

Blackwelder leaves behind two children, a BSO release said.

Sheriff Al Lamberti went to the crash scene on Sunday afternoon. He said New Year's Day had turned tragic for everyone at BSO.

"It's a day we're supposed to be celebrating: food, family, friends and football," he said. "It's tragic something like this would happen on New Year's Day."

Coleman-Wright said Blackwelder was on the force from 2000 to 2007 and from January 2010 until his death. He worked as a road patrol deputy in Pompano Beach.

Blackwelder is the second BSO deputy to be in a major motorcycle crash off-duty in recent weeks, Lamberti said. A deputy riding with a group of friends in Hendry County was severely injured in a crash two weeks ago and now faces a long rehabilitation.

In that crash, too, someone pulled out in front of the deputy, Lamberti said.

"This is an opportunity to tell drivers to look twice for motorcycles," he said. "Drivers need to be aware they're on the road."

The incident is under investigation, Coleman-Wright said. One question detectives hope to answer is why Vangov pulled out in front of the oncoming motorcycle.

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