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Florida Highway Patrol responds to multiple deputy-involved crashes in Lee and Collier County.

Posted at 8:41 AM, Aug 17, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-18 10:39:25-04

LEHIGH ACRES, Fla. — Maryke Matthysen said she drove by a horrific scene in Lehigh Acres yesterday involving a Lee County Sheriff's K-9 unit.

According to Florida Highway Patrol, a Dodge Durango ran through a stop sign at the intersection of Joel Boulevard and Greenbriar Boulevard, straight into the path of a Lee County Sheriff's deputy vehicle.

Did he lose control? I thought he had rolled because the car was pretty damaged, and it looked like he came into a stop in a tree," said Maryke Matthysen.

I was in more shock because then I realized there was a second car, and the second car was severely damaged," said Maryke Matthynsen.

The deputy and the other driver both went to Lee Memorial. They are expected to recover. The K-9 deputy also had to go to a local vet.

Every day they put their lives on the line, and now they have to look out for drivers that don't pay attention," said Maryke Matthysen.

Now the Florida Highway patrol tells us of two more accidents endangering deputies this weekend.

One person is charged with D.U.I after troopers say he rear-ended a Lee County Sheriff's deputy near State Road 80 and Palm Beach Boulevard. In Collier County, one deputy was sideswiped by a driver while making his way to a deadly crash.

State Trooper Kenneth Watson says it's evident that crashes keep increasing.

When the pandemic started, we had so much traffic on the roadway.

"People were not taking good care when they were operating their motor vehicles. Unfortunately, we had just as many crashes during that time frame, as we did prior to the pandemic starting," said State Trooper Kenneth Watson.

Watson says driving is a major responsibility, and everyone must obey the law in order to keep the roadways safe. "Both hands on the wheel, we want your head and shoulders up, we want you paying attention and obviously buckled in," said Watson.

We're still making calls to learn just how all three deputies are doing.