Melbourne Beach Police Department, which already had one patrol car out of commission due to a freak fire last month, is now down two vehicles after a crash last week just outside Gemini Elementary School.
As students settled in for class on Monday, Sept. 24, a passing Brevard County Sheriff’s Deputy lost control of his vehicle, hitting two signs, before crashing into an unoccupied Melbourne Beach patrol car parked just outside the school. No one was injured in the incident.
Lieutenant Kim Montes, Public Affairs Officer for the Florida Highway Patrol (FHP), said the deputy became ill while he was driving and was transported from the accident to the hospital for the illness – not an injury from the crash. He was later released in good condition.
The illness has not been disclosed.
“FHP conducted the investigation and we are awaiting their report,” said Melbourne Beach Town Manager Robert Daniels. “The vehicle is awaiting an inspection by our insurance appraiser.”
Melbourne Beach Police Chief Melanie Griswold was taking a few days off to celebrate her birthday when she was notified of the accident.
Of the vehicle situation, Griswold said “each department has its challenges, so we will adapt and overcome this too. We are only down two vehicles and we will manage just fine.”
For Griswold, she’s just thankful the children were safely in class, the patrol vehicle was unoccupied, and the deputy wasn’t hurt.
“I was so glad to hear that no one was seriously injured,” Griswold said. “This accident has not interrupted our day to day operation or how we maintain the safety of our town.”