OCOEE, Fla. (FOX 35 ORLANDO) - An off-duty Orange County sheriff's deputy struck and killed a pedestrian on Monday evening in Ocoee.
who , crossing the road.
It happened around 9 p.m., as the deputy was driving westbound on West Colonial Drive. The pedestrian was crossing Colonial, near the intersection with Blackwood Avenue. The pedestrian, described as a man in his late 60s, had just left Orlando Health Central Hospital.
The deputy involved in the crash has been identified as Deputy First Class John Bellochi, a patrol deputy who has been with the agency since 2008.
Police said they believe cars that were stopped in the left-hand turning lane may have confused the pedestrian.
“He probably just saw the cars stopping and assumed one of those things where, 'OK, I can start going now' and was just unfortunately struck by the deputy,” said Ocoee Police Lt. Mike Bryant.
The cars in the turning lanes may have also blocked the man and deputy from seeing each other.
“The two of them really didn't see each other coming and by the time they collided, it was too late,” Lt. Bryant said.
This is not the first time there’s been an incident at the intersection of Blackwood Avenue and W. Colonial Drive.
“It’s not normal for people to get run over there, but we do have the traffic crashes. It's a lot going on, and it's busy 24 hours a day,” Lt. Bryant said.
Police are now looking at footage from red light cameras at the intersection.
“The reason we put red light cameras in those areas is because we have a lot of accidents,” Lt. Bryant said.
“I've seen people get real close and blow their horns and of course get mad, road rage-type of thing, but I of course never thought anybody would die there, that's for sure,” said Scott Brisson, an Apopka resident.
The Orange County Sheriff’s Office said the deputy is still on regular duty, but is taking a few days off. After a traumatic crash like this, he will meet with the Critical Incident Stress Management Team.
“When it happens to us, you got to remember we're just men and women as well. He probably needs to talk to somebody about what happened. He's going to remember this forever,” Lt. Bryant said.