FORT LAUDERDALE (CBSMiami) –A Broward Sheriff’s Office deputy involved in a deadly, on-duty crash on Sunday is being remembered by loved ones and peers.
According to BSO, Deputy Benjamin Nimtz, 30, was responding to a domestic violence call, with lights and sirens activated around 3:00 a.m.
He and another deputy, driving separate BSO vehicles, were headed southbound on Military Trail approaching the intersection of Southwest 10th Street.
As the first BSO vehicle made its way through the intersection, it crashed with a Toyota Tundra that was headed eastbound on Southwest 10th Street. The second BSO deputy, who witnessed the crash, immediately called for help.
Broward Sheriff Fire Rescue transported Deputy Nimtz and the sole occupant of the pickup, Darran Johnson, 32, to Broward Health North. Deputy Nimtz was pronounced dead at the hospital.
Johnson was hospitalized with non-life threatening injures and is expected to be OK. Police are now saying that a preliminary investigation shows that Johnson was speeding at the time of the crash.
Pictures on Deputy Nimtz’s Facebook page show a father, an officer and a veteran.
Based on the preliminary investigation and the extent of damage to both vehicles, BSO traffic homicide detectives said Johnson was speeding, and his excessive speed was a contributing factor to the crash.
Detectives are waiting for the results of Johnson’s toxicology test.
Nimtz had his lights and sirens on at the time of the crash, according to BSO.
Sunday afternoon, the body of Deputy Nimtz was escorted from the hospital to the medical examiner.
The loss of a law enforcement officer affected people who did not even know him. For example, a retired BSO deputy who brought flowers to Military Trail and Southwest Tenth Street in Deerfield Beach where the crash happened.
“This poor young man paid the ultimate sacrifice and I just feel a duty to respect him,” retired Deputy Kevin Bolling said.
Deputy Nimtz worked out of the Deerfield Beach District for about a year and a half.
Jeffrey Bell with the Broward Sheriff’s Office Deputies Association says the deputy only had three more shifts left until moving out of state to be with his family.
“There’s a family out there that no longer has their husband that’s going to come home or the father to two young children. So, we are devastated,” Bell said.
Bell says Nimtz’s wife and children had already moved up to Indiana and he was completing his time here before joining them.
“It hits home,” said Bell. “This is the only profession where because of the job, there’s a possibility of losing your life when you go to work.”
Bell said the union will be giving Nimtz’s widow a check for approximately $30,000 that is funded by its members.
A GoFundMe page created for the Nimtz family had already raised more than half of it’s $20,000 goal by Monday morning.
His family will decide where funeral services will be held.