Deputy Killed in Crash While Responding to Domestic Violence Call

Bill Pan
By Bill Pan
July 22, 2019US News
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Deputy Killed in Crash While Responding to Domestic Violence Call
A photo of the Nimtz family. (GoFundMe)

Authorities say a Florida sheriff’s deputy died after a crash that happened as he was on his way to a domestic violence call.

Broward County Sheriff’s Office reported that Deputy Benjamin Nimtz had lights and siren going at 3 a.m. July 21 as he and another deputy headed south toward a domestic violence call. Darran Joseph Johnson, in a Toyota Tundra, was headed east. Nimitz’s SUV and Johnson’s pick-up truck crashed at the intersection.

Broward Sheriff Fire Rescue transported both drivers from the scene to Broward Health North, where Nimtz was pronounced dead while Johnson suffered from non-life threatening injuries.

Nimtz, 30, joined the Broward Sheriff’s Office on March 19, 2018, reported South Florida Sun-Sentinel.

He had just a few shifts left before he would leave the agency and move to Indiana to join his wife Emelie and young daughter and son, said Jeff Bell, president of the Broward Sheriff’s Office Deputies’ Association.

“There’s a family out there that no longer has their husband that’s going to come home or the father to two young children. So, we are devastated,” Bell told CBS4.

A former Army serviceman, Nimtz has been deployed to Iraq, Kuwait, and Afghanistan. His Facebook timeline and posts show that he enlisted in the U.S. Army in 2007, the same year he graduated from a Wisconsin high school. He became a sergeant and team leader at Fort Carson.

In 2008, while stationed in Iraq, Nimtz sent a holiday video shout-out to his family in Waukesha through the Defense Visual Information Distribution Service.

On July 21 afternoon, the body of Deputy Nimtz was escorted from the hospital to the medical examiner. A photo tweeted by the Broward Sheriff’s Office shows dozens of deputies, and other emergency responders stood at attention in a show of respect for the flag-draped casket.

The BSO says investigators believe Johnson was speeding, but no charges have been filed at this point.

“Based on the preliminary investigation and the extent of damage to both vehicles, detectives said Johnson was speeding, and his excessive speed was a contributing factor to the crash,” BSO said, reported Miami Herald.

Johnson, 32, doesn’t have a record of driving under the influence. He does, however, have 14 traffic ticket convictions in the past 13 years, according to records obtained by the Herald. He does have a pattern of speeding, running red lights, driving without a license, skipping tolls, and driving a child passenger without a seat belt. The BSO says investigators believe Johnson was speeding, but no charges have been filed at this point.

A GoFundMe campaign set up for the Nimtz family has already raised more than $20,000 by the time of this publication.

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