Wife of bystander hit in head-on crash during Pasco Sheriff's Office Live PD pursuit speaks out

PASCO COUNTY, Fla. — It’s not easy for Heather Sober to watch videos of Saturday night’s accident in Pasco County. 

Pasco County deputies told ABC Action News they initially responded to a call from a Circle K clerk on State Road 54. Pasco County Sheriff Chris Nocco said the caller told operators a woman was trapped in a headlock and asked for help.

Related: Man dies after crashing head-on into vehicle while being pursued by deputies in Pasco County

The woman was the ex-girlfriend of Michael Blomberg. The two had been in a relationship previous to the incident for approximately 10 years, according to the sheriff.

The sheriff said when deputies arrived they spotted Michael Blomberg’s car pulling out and began a pursuit under the impression the woman could be in that car and her life therefore in danger.

But while evading Pasco County deputies on State Road 54, Blomberg hit Kirby Sober’s truck head-on while driving in the wrong lanes.

Sober pulled himself out of his truck, just before it caught on fire. The incident was broadcast on Live PD. Blomberg was pulled from his car by Pasco County deputies but later died from his injuries.

Kirby is the sole provider for his family and works for a company that operates street sweeper machines. He was on his way from one location to another when Blomberg hit him.

He is now facing several surgeries and burns; he is currently unable to work.

“To watch the videos and all of this footage, over and over and over. And to sit in that hospital all night and watch the effects of it all,” wife Heather Sober said. “He has burns on his back and in his arms.”

Hunter Higdon, the attorney for Sober, is requesting the audio recording for the 911 call. He is also asking for all body camera footage, dashboard camera footage, and Live PD videos of the incident to determine if the accident could have been avoided.

“Were the Pasco County Sheriff's, were they encouraged, were they influenced in any way by the Live PD folks?” Higdon said in a press conference on Tuesday morning. “Did they know that she wasn’t in the car? Should they have known she wasn’t in the car? If that’s the case. It changes the entire ball game.”

A spokesperson for A&E tells ABC Action News that camera crews for Live PD were not with the initial deputies who responded to the chase on Saturday night.

“Contrary to reports, Live PD cameras were not embedded with the Pasco Sheriff deputies that were involved in the pursuit and they did not film the chase or subsequent crash as it occurred.  Live PD cameras were embedded with other deputies who only arrived on the scene after the pursuit had ended and the emergency medical responders arrived," the A&E spokesperson added.

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