A police pursuit in DeLand in September that ended with a teen's death violated department policy, DeLand's police chief today Friday.
Trevon Lacy, a 17-year-old unlicensed driver fleeing from DeLand police, hit the back of a truck and died on Sept. 19.
He was southbound on Adelle Avenue in a 2003 black Ford Expedition at about 3:40 p.m. when he hit the cab portion of a tractor-trailer parked on the shoulder near New Hampshire Avenue, the Florida Highway Patrol said.
Investigators said Lacy was speeding and fleeing from a police officer who had just tried to stop him about a block south because he was not wearing a seat belt, FHP Sgt. Kim Montes said.
Although Officer Mathew McCormick was only behind the vehicle for 38 seconds, the attempted traffic stop should "have been aborted prior to the driver... losing control of his vehicle," Police Chief William E. Ridgway said in a statement today.
"Although Mr. Lacy was committing the felony crime of aggravated fleeing and eluding, that offense did not justify a vehicular pursuit according to DeLand Police Department Directives," he added.
Deputy Chief Batten recommended that McCormick receive a 40-hour unpaid suspension. McCormick accepted responsibility for violating the directive and the proposed discipline.
"It should be noted that several months after serving the suspension Officer McCormick resigned from the DeLand Police Department," Ridgway said. "His resignation was in regard to better employment opportunities out of state for his family and was not related to the incident."
FHP released its traffic homicide report Friday and McCormick wasn't cited for causing Trevon Lacy's crash, DeLand police said.
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