• 'God blessed us': Driver involved in crash with Jacksonville officer who ran stop sign speaks

    By: Russell Colburn , Action News Jax

    Updated:

    Only Action News Jax is hearing from the driver hit by a Jacksonville Sheriff's officer.

    The Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office said that officer blew through a stop sign at Ortega Boulevard and Yacht Club Road on Tuesday.

    Janet Lonie said she's nursing several injuries, including what may be a fractured sternum.


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    She said she was driving her great-grandchildren, just 2 and 4 years old, and her daughter-in-law to the park when the crash occurred.

    “Naomi, the 2-year-old, mentioned the pretty water,” Lonie said.  “I glanced toward her and the pretty water, and there was an officer aimed right at her door.”

    Lonie said she swerved so the children didn't get the brunt of the impact.



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    “God blessed us, because every window in my car popped as it would three times, except for the windows on either side by my great-granddaughters,” Lonie said.

    This was the second crash involving a JSO officer within an hour and a half Tuesday night.

    Sheriff Mike Williams addressed the investigations the next day.

    “[Officers are] spending 12 hours a day in a car, so you're going to have a certain amount of that,” Williams said.  “But, every one of those is investigated.  If the officer's at fault, there's remedial driving, there's progressive discipline up to losing your car, all the way up to significant discipline, really.”

    Action News Jax obtained the crash report, which states the officer was not distracted, did not have her vision obscured and was not speeding.

    Lonie said she disagrees with the report, and the family has hired an attorney.

    “She was going so fast that her car, after it made impact with my vehicl,- the skid marks showed that she traveled approximately another 25 feet on the road after she hit me,” Lonie said.  “There's no excuse for that.”

    Lonie said her daughter-in-law is also recovering from a concussion.

    No word was given on the exact conditions of the children, but the report states they were not hurt.
     

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