Fla. Deputy Who Hit, Killed Woman Fights Speeding Ticket


The family of a 65-year-old woman hit and killed by a deputy's cruiser said they are heartbroken. They say a deputy killed Henrietta Strong because he was speeding.

The deputy was not charged in Strong's death and is fighting the speeding ticket.

Strong's family confronted state troopers Thursday outside a Brevard County courtroom. They said they've been denied justice and want to know if the deputy is above the law.

Investigators said Deputy Vincent Marino-Vitani was running late for work in September 2009. According to the Florida Highway Patrol, he was driving 64 miles per hour in a 40-mile-per-hour zone on State Road 520 when he struck and killed Strong.

Marino-Vitani's attorney tried to get the ticket thrown out Thursday and the family is beyond upset. In FHP's investigation, troopers found that Marino-Vitani was speeding 24 miles over the limit when he drove into Strong, but was not at fault for her death because she stepped out into the roadway and wasn't in a crosswalk.

The finding has infuriated her family.

"They are acting like it was her fault that she was killed. It's not her fault. It's not her fault," one family member said. "A 20-year vet, a 20-year vet driving at that type of speed, but yet it's still we're going to do that."

Troopers issued the deputy a speeding ticket, which he has hired a team of attorneys to fight. FHP troopers, acting as prosecutors, failed to have their own investigators properly subpoenaed for the trial.

The deputy's attorney tried to have the case go forward, hoping to have the ticket tossed.

"Since they are acting as a prosecutor, they have the burden of preparing the case," the deputy's attorney said.

The troopers couldn't say why their own colleagues weren't in court. The judge decided to give troopers one more chance to get their witnesses in order.

WFTV reporter Kevin Oliver asked troopers about it outside.

"Can't you just call them and have them come down?" Oliver asked

"That's above what I do in my role," a trooper replied.

The case has been continued until next month. State troopers said they would get all their witnesses subpoenaed.

Family members said they will be there.

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