|Final star between arrows denote impact point.|
It was a sad day when several of us from Liberty Dispatch went out to the accident scene where Liberty County Sheriff's Deputy, Odell McDuffie died.
After a survey of the scene and interviews with witnesses, it is my best determination the following happened.
1. Odell rounded the farm road curve and his car throttled wide open.
2. According to witnesses, they claim the vehicle engine revved wide open.
3. The car crossed the opposing lane and went off the road and hit a tree.
4. The car spun around after impacting the front right drivers side of the vehicle.
5. Witnesses who appeared almost immediately on the scene state- the air bag had deployed and Odell was pinned under the dash with his hand still grasping the steering wheel but unresponsive.
6. A fire in the engine compartment started almost immediately upon impact.
7. It is believed Odell's neck was probably broken from the impact while he was under the dash.
Summation: I believe Odell was traversing a corner when suddenly the car accelerated on its own- wide open. Thinking the accelerator was stuck, Odell then leaned down under the dash to try to unfreeze the accelerator. When Odell leaned to the right and under the dash, his hand over corrected and caused him to go off the road. Odell was probably moving at 60+ miles per hour and the 50-75 yards he covered at the aforementioned speed, was unrecoverable.
I believe the proximate cause of Odell's ultimate death was due to a faulty material mechanical defect in the Ford Crown Victoria police vehicle he was operating.
The car and its computer must be preserved for further investigation.
Odell, you will be missed...
Ray Akins, Liberty Dispatch Investigator/Contributor