One word can be used to describe Harry Deshommes…
“He was a very simple man,” his sister Gina Desronleaux says. “He was always in the library reading something or outside reading something. He didn't do a whole lot outside of the house...he went out to work and came home.”
Back in May, life for this man of simple means changed forever.
According to the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office, Harry made a U-Turn on Southern Boulevard near Cleary Road, and started driving westbound.
That's when PBSO Deputy Brandon Hegele, also traveling westbound, slammed into him.
“The officer was traveling at 104 miles per hour, there were nine lane changes,” says Sekou Gary, Deshommes' family’s attorney.
The arrest report shows Hegele was following a lead on a vehicle of interest in a case, despite the fact that his supervisors told deputies not to pursue or attempt to stop the vehicle.
“You can't harm the public under the light of protecting the public,” Gary says. “There has to be boundaries, there has to be protocols that are followed.”
Harry sustained numerous injuries - including a skull fracture, and broken ribs, back and pelvis.
He's undergoing rehab now in West Palm Beach.
“Physically he's getting therapy, he's learning how to walk again, he's learning how to use his left arm again,” Desronleaux says.
But it's the traumatic brain injuries - and the resulting memory loss - that has his family worried the most.
Now all she can do is hope, as a once simple life is now full of complications.
“I would like him to make a full recovery, but is he going to make it? I'm not sure…I'm not sure,” Desronleaux says. “He's not himself anymore.”
NewsChannel 5 reached out to PBSO, and a spokesperson sent the following statement:
“The Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office holds its employees to the highest standards and never forgets about its duty to preserve the public’s trust. Unfortunately sometimes an employee makes a bad decision which leads to misconduct. We reviewed this case and determined it to be criminal in nature, resulting in the charges.
The sheriff’s office will remain vigilant to insure that our efforts are professional and meet the high standards that the public has come to expect.”
Deshommes' family, meanwhile, says they are exploring their legal options.