DEERFIELD BEACH, FLA. (WSVN) - Cellphone video showed the horrific scene in Deerfield Beach after a car and a deputy’s vehicle collided, killing the civilian driver.
According to the Broward Sheriff’s Office, a deputy who was driving with his emergency lights on en route to a call hit the driver’s side of the car, Wednesday night.
The crash happened near Northeast 44th Street and Third Avenue, around 10:45 p.m. The motorist, identified as Leonardo Littlejohn, then drove into the backyard fence of a Deerfield Beach home before his car rolled back and onto its roof.
He was transported to Broward Health North where he was pronounced dead.
“He was just down-to-earth. He looked out for everyone,” said Littlejohn’s girlfriend Monique Toussaint. “If you needed something, he had you, and if he didn’t have it, he’ll try to find a way to do it.”
The deputy was also hospitalized but has since been released.
The skid marks on the roadway and the sidewalk could still be seen Thursday afternoon.
The Deerfield Beach homeowner, who did not want to be identified, tried to clean up the mess that was left behind.
“We heard the crash,” the homeowner said, “and when we came over here we saw the police officer car was there, and the other car was flipped over here.”
BSO deputies said Littlejohn was speeding and ran the stop sign.
However, his family said that isn’t what happened.
“You could see him coming past us, slowing down, but you could see the police officer with no lights on speeding down this way,” said Littlejohn’s nephew James Gordon, “and they knew it was wet down here, so why is he speeding when you know it’s wet, and why ain’t you got your lights on while you speed?”
“As a matter of fact, he crashed for the first time over there in the little yard that we have other there,” the homeowner said pointing down the street, “and then he flies. He crashed [into] three palm trees, through the fence and flipped.”
Cellphone video showed the car flipped over with several officials on the scene.
“I just see ‘boom!’ I don’t know what happened,” said Nanette Baptiste who knows the victim, “but one thing I know when I was outside, they take too long.”
Friends and family members are now remembering Littlejohn a day after the crash.
“He was just a loving person,” Toussaint said.
“He left too early, man,” Gordon said. “He left way too early.”
BSO officials said the deputy had his lights on. They are currently looking for surveillance video.
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