Broward County

‘Excessive speed’ involved in fatal deputy crash, BSO says. Dashcam video doesn’t exist

Part of BSO deputy Benjamin Nimtz’s Facebook profile picture
Part of BSO deputy Benjamin Nimtz’s Facebook profile picture Facebook

“Excessive speed” by the driver of a pickup truck contributed to a weekend crash that killed Broward sheriff’s Deputy Benjamin Nimtz, traffic homicide detectives say.

That’s from the preliminary investigation. There’s no dashcam video showing the crash. BSO says neither of the two cruisers headed to the call was equipped for it.

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The sheriff’s office says Nimtz had lights and siren going at 3 a.m. Sunday as he and another deputy headed south on Military Trail in Deerfield Beach toward a domestic violence call. Darran Johnson, in a Toyota Tundra, was headed east on Southwest 10th Street. Nimitz’s and Johnson’s vehicles crashed in the intersection.

Nimtz, a 30-year-old father of two and a husband who survived tours of Army duty in Iraq and Afghanistan, was pronounced dead at Broward Health North.

Nimtz had been with BSO since March 2018. BSO Deputies Association President Jeff Bell told Herald news partner CBS4 that Nimtz had only three shifts left before leaving the agency. His family already had moved out of state.

The Sheriff’s Foundation of Broward County has set up the Deputy Benjamin Nimtz Memorial Fund to pay for his children’s education.

Johnson, 32, is in the same hospital with non-life threatening injuries.

“Based on the preliminary investigation and the extent of damage to both vehicles, detectives said Johnson was speeding, and his excessive speed was a contributing factor to the crash,” BSO said.

Detectives are waiting for Johnson’s toxicology tests to come back, so no charges have been made yet. Johnson doesn’t have a record of driving under the influence

A check of Johnson’s driving record says speeding is a part of a driving history that includes 14 ticket convictions in the last 13 years and over $3,000 in fines.

Running a red light or a stop sign: five tickets.

Driving without a license or with a license suspended: three tickets.

Speeding: three tickets.

Failing to pay tolls: two tickets.

No seat belt on a child passenger: one ticket.

Those tickets have cost the Pembroke Pines resident $3,004.65 in fines to Miami-Dade, Broward, Palm Beach and Lee counties. He still owes Broward $23 from January’s ticket for going 62 mph in a 35 mph zone on Northwest 104th Avenue.

The process of rescuing victims if they get trapped after a car crash can be difficult. This is how firefighters do it.

Since 1989, David J. Neal’s domain at the Miami Herald has expanded to include writing about Panthers (NHL and FIU), Dolphins, old school animation, food safety, fraud, naughty lawyers, bad doctors and all manner of breaking news. He drinks coladas whole. He does not work Indianapolis 500 Race Day.
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