NC sheriff deputy crashes SUV at 110 mph, loses job
Local residents have signed a petition for the deputy to get his job back despite wrecking several cars and a building.
A sheriff deputy in Caldwell County, North Carolina, has lost his job after losing control of a Ford Police Interceptor Utility and smashing into a car repair shop.
The local sheriff's department claims Deputy J Chester's body-camera recording indicated that he "exceeded 110 mph" in a 45 mph zone when he lost control, sliding across oncoming lanes and striking several cars parked at Tim's Automotive in the town of Lenoir. Building surveillance cameras show the SUV finally coming to rest after pushing another Ford Explorer into the wall of a building, causing a few rows of cinder blocks to collapse.
Chester was reportedly responding to a call regarding a stolen vehicle and a suspected potentially armed with a knife. The vehicle was already found abandoned, however, and several other deputies were already on site when the crash occurred.
More than 500 local residents have signed a petition calling for Chester to get his job back. The sheriff's office seems unconvinced by the local support, however, as the deputy was apparently in violation of department policy.
"The Sheriff's Office emergency response driving policy is designed so that in all driving and related decision-making the paramount consideration is the safety of the motoring public," the sheriff's office wrote in a press release defending the decision to fire the deputy. "It was determined that the vehicle was not being operated within the policy of the Caldwell County Sheriff's Office."
Fellow officers declined to charge the deputy because the accident occurred while "in the performance of his duties," according to WSOC.