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Off-duty PBSO deputy has driver's license suspended for 3 months following crash that injured teen

Michael D'Avanzo
Posted at 12:48 PM, Feb 20, 2019
and last updated 2019-02-20 21:52:24-05

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — Palm Beach County deputy who investigators said ran a stop sign and crashed into a car critically injuring a teenager in Delray Beach was back in court Wednesday.

The judge suspended deputy Michael D'Avanzo's driver's license for 3 months, ordered him to go to an aggressive driving school and pay a $500 speeding fine.

Michael D'Avanzo was ticketed for speeding and running a stop sign in the wreck July 15, 2018.

Investigators said in June 2018, D'Avanzo was off-duty when he ran a stop sign in his vehicle in Delray Beach.

According to police, D'Avanzo was driving 53 mph in a 25 mph zone when he slammed into a car.

The passenger in the car, 18-year-old Farrah Fox, was severely injured.

The UCF college student was in a coma for more than four weeks.

"I don't seem to understand how an officer doesn't know the speed limit in a neighborhood. It's not 53 miles per hour," said Ira Fox, Farrah's father.

"Everything we take for granted, she (Farrah) has to learn to do all over again."

The Palm Beach County State Attorney declined to charge D'Avanzo, saying the stop sign was blocked by a low-hanging tree, and drivers traveling at or above the speed limit would not have seen it.

Police body-camera video recorded shortly after the crash shows D’Avanzo telling an officer, "My life is over man. All I had to do was stop. I didn't see the f****** stop sign."

On Wednesday, D’Avanzo was also fined $500 and ordered to attend driving school for aggressive driving.

According to a state attorney report, a passenger in D'Avanzo's truck told investigators they had been out for mimosas before the crash.

Records show officers did smell a faint odor of an alcoholic beverage on the deputy's breath, but did not believe he was impaired.

The Palm Beach County State Attorney declined to charge the deputy saying the stop sign was blocked by a low-hanging tree, and drivers traveling at or above the speed limit would not have seen it.

The Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office said D'Avanzo is still with the Sheriff's Office.