Broward County

Driver in crash that killed a BSO deputy faces DUI, reckless driving charges

Darran Johnson
Darran Johnson Broward Sheriff's Office

The driver hospitalized after last month’s crash that killed Broward Sheriff’s Office deputy Benjamin Nimtz was arrested Wednesday on 13 charges and citations Wednesday in relation to the crash.

The charges accuse Boynton Beach resident Darran Johnson, 32, of running a red light and speeding while not being sober and not having a valid driver’s license at the time of the July 21 crash at Military Trail and Southwest 10th Street in Deerfield Beach.

Johnson was charged with one count of vehicular homicide; DUI cause death and fail to give info; DUI cause death to any human; three counts of DUI with damage to another’s property or person; three counts of reckless driving with damage to person or property; one count of driving with a suspended license, second offense; misdemeanor possession of marijuana; and tickets for running a red light and speeding.

His bond, according to online jail records, is $50,000.

Running a red light/stop sign (five tickets); speeding (three tickets) and driving without a license or with a suspended license (three tickets) were the three most common violations among Johnson’s 14 ticket convictions in the last 13 years. Johnson has never had a DUI ticket conviction.

Nimtz, 30, left behind a wife and two children, who were waiting for him to finish his last three BSO shifts and join them in Indiana for the next phase of their lives.

Ben nimt_fitted.jpeg
Part of BSO deputy Benjamin Nimtz’s Facebook profile picture Facebook

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Neither BSO cruiser heading for the domestic violence call around 3 a.m. July 21 was equipped with a dashcam. There appeared to be surveillance video cameras in the area.

BSO detectives say Nimtz was in the lead cruiser as he headed south on Military Trail with siren and emergency lights going. They say Johnson was driving his Toyota Tundra pickup truck east on Southwest 10th Street above the 45 mph speed limit, ran the red light at the Military Trail intersection and smashed Nimtz’s cruiser in the passenger side.

Nimtz was declared dead at Broward Health North. Johnson was taken to Broward Health North and released a few days later.

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.