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Court docs: PBSO deputy ignored commands to 'stay back' before crash

Posted at 3:53 PM, Aug 23, 2017
and last updated 2017-08-23 18:57:25-04

Supervisors tried to get a Palm Beach County deputy to slow down three times before he crashed into the back of a smart car, according to discovery released from the State Attorney’s Office.

According to radio transmissions obtained by Contact 5, in May 2016, Palm Beach County deputies were on the lookout for a fleeing vehicle when supervisors told all deputies to avoid pursuit if they spotted the car.

Instead of pursuit, deputies were asked to radio in the location of the vehicle while supervisors recruited additional resources.

Three times in six minutes supervisors told deputies over their radios to “break it off”, “hang back”, and “stay back”.

However, according to a recently released investigative report, Deputy Brandon Hegele ignored all commands to “hang back”.

(Scroll down to read the investigative report from PBSO.) 

Instead Hegele’s dash cam video shows he drove over 100 miles per hour just to get to the area where the fleeing vehicle was last spotted.

On his way there, Hegele crashed into the back of Smart Car, leaving the driver, Harry Deshommes with numerous injuries, including a broken back.

Additional evidence shows two eyewitnesses noticed Hegele did not have his lights or siren on when he smashed into Deshommes.

The arrest report says Hegele tried to hit the brakes and swerve to avoid the smart car, but because he was going so fast, there was no time to slow down.

Hegele was charged with reckless driving and has been on unpaid leave from the sheriff’s office since September 2016.

His jury trial is scheduled to begin on Monday.