Bunnell, FL – A Flagler County deputy is on the verge of being fired after an internal investigation shows he failed to stop a wrong-way driver minutes before that driver was killed in a head-on collision on Interstate 95.
Robert Finn – who just completed his seventh year with the Flagler County Sheriff’s Office – has been taken off the streets and reassigned to the communications center pending appeal of his termination.
FCSO Undersheriff Jack Bisland says it all stems from an internal investigation into the early morning accident on April 16, 2018 which killed Wendell Parker and left another driver seriously injured.
“This is a tragic case where Deputy Finn witnessed a vehicle traveling in the wrong direction and failed to take immediate action,” Bisland said. “While we will never know with certainty if Deputy Finn could have changed the sequence of events and prevented this crash by attempting to stop the vehicle, we do know that as a law enforcement officer it was his duty to take immediate action and he failed to do so.”
Finn was on duty that overnight when he told dispatchers he’d back-up a medical call on Carlson Lane in Palm Coast around 2 a.m., according to FCSO.
While on the way to that call with lights and sirens on, investigators found that Finn exited I-95 at Palm Coast Parkway and had to swerve to avoid Parker’s vehicle as it went north on the southbound exit ramp.
“Deputy Finn failed to take any action to stop the errant driver and continued to the medical call despite the fact that another deputy and medical units had already arrived to the medical call,” stated an FCSO press release. “During the internal investigation, Deputy Finn stated that he had to swerve to avoid the vehicle but he thought he saw the vehicle turn at the end of the ramp and correct its course of travel, so he did not initiate a traffic stop.”
It was around 10 minutes later when 911 dispatchers got the call for help regarding the accident that led to Parker’s death.
Finn has 10 days to file an appeal by FCSO policy.