When it comes to law enforcement officers, encounters with criminals are not the leading cause of death. The leading cause of death is traffic accidents. According to the Centers for Disease Control, between 2005 and 2016, 564 law enforcement officers were killed in traffic crashes. This comprises 31% of all deaths that occurred in the line of duty. Of all fatal crashes, almost half were single-vehicle accidents. Between 2007 and 2016, there were 130 law enforcement officers that were killed when they were struck by a vehicle. This makes up 9% of the total.
The Gulfport, Florida Patch reports that two people were seriously injured in a crash with a Gulfport Police cruiser.
The Sheriff’s Office of Pinellas County is investigating an accident that involved a Gulfport Police officer. The accident happened on 49th Street at Gulfport Boulevard South at approximately 11:12 p.m. on Monday.
28-year-old Gulfport Police Officer Courtney Palazzolo was in a marked Dodge Challenger driving south on 49th Street. She was approaching Gulfport Boulevard South and proceeded through the intersection with a green light.
19-year-old Cameron Daynard was driving a Cadillac CTS eastward on Gulfport Boulevard South and failed to stop at the traffic light at the intersection of 49th Street.
The police officer crashed into the driver’s side of the Cadillac. The Cadillac spun counterclockwise, then struck a traffic signal electrical box.
Both vehicles came to a stop in the northbound lanes of 49th Street South.
Daynard and 19-year-old Reyna Williams both suffered from serious injuries. Williams had not been buckled in and it is unknown if Daynard was wearing his seatbelt.
Daynard displayed signs of possible intoxication.
Palazzolo was treated for minor injuries at an area hospital.