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Florida Deputy Seriously Injured in Cruiser Crash

Palm Beach County Sheriff's Deputy Michael Calloway's injuries, though severe, do not appear life-threatening after he crashed on the way to assist a fellow deputy Tuesday night, said spokeswoman Teri Barbera.

Calloway was speeding with lights and sirens activated to assist another deputy when his cruiser struck a car on Southern Boulevard, sending the cruiser over a couple of curbs and into a tree in the Airport Hilton parking lot at about 9:36 p.m.

Arthur H. Beebe III, the 40-year-old driver in the other car was not injured, but the deputy had to be cut from the wreck and was taken to St. Mary's Medical Center's trauma unit to be treated.

A preliminary traffic report from Sheriff's investigators reported Calloway was westbound in the outside lane of Southern Boulevard and was quickly approaching an Audi in the same lane. Both drivers changed lanes at the same time, but Calloway's cruiser, a 2008 Ford, approaching at a faster speed, hit the Audi on the passenger front side.

The impact sent the cruiser north and into the parking lot in the 100 block of Australian Avenue.

Calloway, who just had his 26th birthday this month, has been with the sheriff's department since 2011, Barbera said. She did not have any information about his previous work history. Nor were details available regarding the situation to which Calloway was rushing.

State law permits law enforcement officers to break standard safety regulations including the speed limit as long as they're responding to emergencies or pursuing suspects.

Calloway was traveling with lights and sirens on -- what is referred to as Code 3, spokesman Eric Davis said. To do that he either had to announce to dispatchers and supervisors that he intended to go to the scene with lights and sirens blaring and receive their acknowledgement or he had to be directed to do so, Davis said.

Calloway is not the first deputy this year to be injured in a crash. A deputy was injured in a crash on April 11 on Drexel Road when a civilian ran a stop sign, Barbera said. In February, a sheriff's Tahoe carrying both a deputy and a police dog was involved in a three-vehicle crash that ended with the Tahoe on its roof. Three people were taken to the hospital with minor injuries; the dog was not harmed.

Copyright 2014 - The Palm Beach Post, Fla.

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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