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Largo police to investigate fatal traffic crash involving one of its own officers

Posted at 10:39 AM, May 06, 2018
and last updated 2018-05-06 10:39:29-04

A Largo police officer was involved in a fatal traffic crash in the 3600 block of East Bay Drive Saturday night, officials said.

Largo police officer Thomas Dziamba, 34, was taken to an area hospital for treatment of serious injuries, the Largo Police Department said. A second motorist, 36-year-old Christopher Griffin, died after he was thrown from his vehicle.

The incident began shortly after 10 p.m. Saturday when Dziamba, a K9 officer and his canine partner, Drax, were traveling in a police cruiser eastbound in the 3600 block of East Bay Drive.

The officer was responding with the cruiser's overhead lights and siren activated.

Dziamba was responding to a domestic disturbance call, involving what Largo police said was a suspect who had kicked in the front door of the victim's home and was inside.

A 2010 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited driven by Griffin was headed south on a cross street at the time.

At the intersection of East Bay Drive. the police cruiser and Jeep Wrangler collided.

A news release issued by the Largo Police Department did not indicate which motorist had the right of way. The release said the Jeep entered the path of the police cruiser and was hit.

Griffin, who was not wearing a seatbelt, was thrown from his vehicle. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

An investigation led by the Largo Police Department's Traffic Homicide Unit will include whether alcohol played a role in the crash, the news release said.

Dziamba has served as a Largo police officer for three years. He now is home and is expected to make a full recovery. K9 Drax was uninjured.