Dash camera shows moment deputy’s car was sent spinning in crash on I-75 in Florida

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A sheriff’s deputy was trapped in his flipped patrol car after it was rammed from behind on Interstate 75 in Florida, according to the Alachua County Sheriff’s Office.

Good Samaritans rushed to help the deputy, who was hospitalized with non-life threatening injuries, the sheriff’s office said in a news release.

The other driver died in the crash, which remains under investigation.

It happened late Monday, April 10, near Gainesville, as multiple deputies were trying to intercept a “reckless driver” creating havoc on the interstate, the sheriff’s office said. Gainesville is about 70 miles southwest of Jacksonville.

“Callers reported that a gray SUV was swerving between all 3 lanes, driving at high speeds, and had already struck a semi. ... The vehicle did not stop,” the sheriff’s office reported.

“Deputy (Thomas) Sapundjieff was parked on the shoulder of I-75, just south of NW 39th Avenue, when he notified (a dispatcher) he could see the vehicle traveling up behind him. Within seconds of that transmission, the violator vehicle struck Deputy Sapundjieff’s vehicle.”

Dash cam video shows the patrol car was sent spinning off the interstate, flipped onto its side and began smoking.

Help arrived about a minute later, as passersby began knocking on the windshield and climbing on the car to try to reach the 24-year-old deputy, the video shows.

“Deputy Sapundjieff was able to break out a window and successfully extricate himself,” the sheriff’s office said. “Sapundjieff then began assisting citizens, as well as additional deputies, with rendering aid to the elderly female motorist.”

The driver, a 66-year-old Mississippi woman, died after being taken to a hospital, the Florida Highway Patrol said. Her identity has not been released as of April 12.

Investigators say her vehicle “swerved to the right” and collided with the left rear passenger door of the patrol car.

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