ZEPHYRHILLS, Fla. — A local high-profile deputy is on paid administrative leave after the Florida Highway Patrol says he hit a person’s car the other night and drove off.
Lyle Frazier lives down the bumpy Zephyrhills dirt road and says he’s been wondering what happened.
"I hadn’t noticed these before I just noticed the ones way down through here,” he said, as he points to tire tracks in the grass.
New information from the Florida Highway Patrol confirm his suspicions — a Pasco County deputy blew through a stop sign at Tucker Road and Autumn Palm Drive, hit a car and took off.
"I kind of figured he might’ve been on a case here and got a call somewhere else or something the way he was driving so fast,” said Frazier.
According to FHP, Darren Goodwald was behind the wheel. Officials say his patrol vehicle stalled out less than a mile away from the scene.
He’s the same deputy ABC Action News spoke with last week after several good Samaritans saved his life. Goodwald pulled a man over on October 16, 2018. During that traffic stop, the Pasco County Sheriff’s office says 30-year-old Bryan Stephen Roque ran from Deputy Goodwald. After he chased him down and struggled with Roque, they say Roque pulled Goodwald's taser and struck both of them and even went for his gun.
Goodwald said during an interview with ABC Action News on October 17, he was in fear for his life.
"Every thought in my mind was 'you might die,'" said Goodwald
The Pasco County Sheriff’s Office won’t say where he came from or why he left the scene without providing information to the owners of the car.
"You don’t know what his reason for it was, so I really don’t know what to think. I was just puzzled that it happened the way it did," Frazier said.
Goodwald is on paid administrative leave while FHP finishes its investigation into the collision.