Deputies narrowly avoid serious injuries; one in crash, another pushed into traffic

Deputies narrowly avoid serious injuries; one in crash, another pushed into traffic

INDIAN RIVER COUNTY, Fla. — Two Indian River County deputies were involved in dangerous incidents within hours of one another over the weekend. Dashcam video in both situations shows how close the pair were too serious injuries.

A patrol car was on US 1 heading toward the intersection with 10th Avenue at 1:40 a.m. Sunday. Video shows a blinking, yellow light ahead.

“At the time of night, lights in Indian River County, Vero Beach, transition from regular functioning intersections," said Major Eric Flowers with the Indian River County Sheriff's Office.

In the next minute, you see a collision between a flatbed truck and that Indian River County Sheriff’s deputy, who was transporting a prisoner in his patrol car.

"We’re happy the only injury we had this weekend was a minor injury," said Major Flowers.

Merrit Teague, 21, of Vero Beach turned himself in late Monday. The arrest affidavit shows Teague was driving a company truck that was not his, that he later hid in a warehouse.

Teague was charged with leaving the scene of a crash involving injury.

Investigators say getting this out on social media helped.

“It played a big part in this guy turning himself in. I’m sure the pressure knowing video was out there, knowing we were tracking him down," said Flowers.

Just a few hours prior, a deputy was conducting a traffic stop in Gifford just south of 45th Street. The dashcam shows Ronshaun Jones, 33, of Orlando push the deputy out of frame, into oncoming traffic according to the sheriff's office. The deputies radio was knocked off his person.

In the ensuing struggle, Jones’ head hits a bumper of a vehicle that was driving by. Eventually, the deputy used his Taser to subdue Jones. In this case, the sheriff’s office had to tamp down fast-spreading rumors on social media that there had been an officer-involved shooting.

“We have family members and relatives concerned about their loved ones who are working every single day, and we had to get the word out that that wasn’t correct," said Major Flowers.

The men in both of these incidents face a number of charges and have since posted bond.

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