Sheriff’s deputy ruled at fault in accident |

Sheriff’s deputy ruled at fault in accident

A police investigation into a traffic accident involving a El Dorado County Sheriff’s deputy placed the majority of the fault with the deputy, police said Wednesday.

Deputy Robert Boynton was driving south out of the Baker Automotive parking lot onto U.S. Highway 50, when he turned on his emergency lights and attempted to make a U-turn toward the South “Y” Shopping Center, witnesses said. The patrol car collided with a pickup driven by Jodi Sanchez, 19, of Bayfield, Colo.

Neither Sanchez or any of her three passengers were seriously injured in the crash, but Boynton’s superiors said the deputy is still off work due to injuries suffered in the Aug. 9 accident and might require surgery. Deputy Tim Mazzoni, a passenger in Boynton’s vehicle, complained of pain to his left shoulder, but was otherwise uninjured.

South Lake Tahoe police investigators said Boynton was most at fault because he made an unsafe U-turn, but added that Sanchez was also traveling too fast for conditions when she tried to pass a patrol car with emergency lights engaged.

Sheriff’s Lt. Fred Kollar said the incident will go before an internal accident review board, which will not only consider this accident, but also any other accidents involving Boynton. Kollar said to his knowledge he didn’t believe the deputy was involved in any before Aug. 9. The board has yet to convene and begin the process.

“Depending on the determination of the board, the result could range from training up to discipline,” Kollar explained. “The idea is to correct the behavior.”

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