POMPANO BEACH, FLA. (WSVN) - Authorities are investigating after, they said, a Broward Sheriff’s Office deputy struck and killed a bicyclist in Pompano Beach, Tuesday afternoon.
Detectives responded to the scene at Northwest 15th Street and Dixie Highway.
According to Pompano Beach Fire Rescue, a deputy behind the wheel of a marked SUV struck a bicyclist, described as a man in his 50s, at around 3 p.m.
“The next thing I heard is [brakes screeching] and ‘boom!'” said area resident Willard McDonald. “We see a gap underneath the BSO truck.”
Detectives said the man was likely dragged during the incident.
“We saw them marking him off, how far he got dragged, which is about 100 feet or better,” said one witness.
The bicyclist was pronounced dead at the scene.
“If you’d been paying attention, you would have seen him on the bicycle,” said another witness.
Investigators said both the officer and the victim were heading northbound when they collided. However, it remains unclear what caused the collision.
According to BSO, the deputy was heading to an alarm call in Pompano Beach but did not use his lights and sirens. Officials said that was not required.
“I can tell you that [the deputy] was very upset, and that’s understandable,” said BSO spokesperson Veda Coleman-Wright.
BSO shut down North Dixie Highway from the 1000 block to the 1500 block while deputies worked the scene. It was later reopened to traffic.
Investigators do not believe speed was a factor.
“Our traffic homicide detectives will be investigating. If there’s anyone that actually witnessed the impact, certainly our detectives would gratefully want to hear from you as well,” said Veda Coleman-Wright. “Like I said, they are taking some statements from people here on the scene. They have also spoken with the deputy as well.”
Officials are also trying to determine if nearby railroad tracks crossing Dixie Highway played a role in the crash. “It’s possible that his tire, the bicycle tire, could have gotten stuck in the tracks,” said Veda Coleman-Wright. “Based on some of the information that the witnesses said, he may have fallen down before he was even struck.”
7Skyforce HD hovered over the scene where a body bag could be seen near the back of the officer’s SUV. Further away, cameras captured a mangled bike near the side of the road, about 100 feet away from the body.
“It’s very disturbing for any type of loss of life, but yeah, still, it’s just sad,” said McDonald.
The investigation continued after nightfall and so did the questions.
“Everybody makes mistakes and have accidents,” said one witness. “Things happen, and sometimes you just can’t help it.”
The identities of the victim and deputy have not yet been released.