Investigation exhibits Sarasota philanthropist Charles Barancik was at fault within the December 2019 Longboat Key crash involving a police officer.
SARASOTA — A Longboat Key officer was touring almost twice the authorized pace restrict — 84 miles per hour — on the night time he collided with a automotive carrying outstanding Sarasota philanthropists Charles and Margery Barancik, a police investigation exhibits.
The impression killed Charles Barancik immediately; his spouse, Margery Barancik, died shortly afterward.
Longboat Key Police Chief Peter Cumming stated the Sarasota Police Division investigated the crash and “That report stands alone. I don’t have something I can add to it.”
Cumming stated when the investigation closed, the Longboat Key Police Division opened its personal inside investigation.
“It’s at the moment ongoing,” Cumming stated. He declined to remark additional.
Sarasota Police site visitors investigator Tim Bales wrote in his report that Longboat Key police officer Jeffrey D. Vogt was touring south in a marked City of Longboat Key Ford Explorer, within the 2100 block of Gulf of Mexico Drive, when he collided with a Tesla pushed by Charles Barancik.
Vogt was on responsibility and responding to a fireplace alarm at a residence on the time of the crash.
Based on the report, Vogt’s emergency lights have been working however his siren was not.
A duplicate of the Longboat Key Police normal orders, obtained by the Herald-Tribune, states: “Throughout an emergency response, emergency lights and siren and different emergency sign gadgets shall be activated as required by legislation.”
The Baranciks have been leaving their condominium at Bay Isles Affiliation and pulled out behind a passing fireplace truck. Behind it was Vogt’s Longboat Key patrol car.
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The investigation exhibits that the officer was driving 84 mph earlier than he slammed into the motive force’s facet of the Tesla, an impression that killed Charles Barancik immediately. His spouse, Margery, within the passenger seat, was hospitalized as a “trauma alert” and died of her accidents a day later, SPD stated.
The Longboat Key officer additionally was damage however his accidents weren’t life-threatening.
Based on the Florida Division of Regulation Enforcement, Vogt has been a police officer lower than two years. He joined the Longboat Key Police Division in April 2018. A month later he was licensed as a police officer.
The FDLE paperwork present that Vogt has a highschool schooling.
The crash occurred on an almost linear stretch of Gulf of Mexico Drive, a 10-mile-long a part of State Highway 789, from St. Armands Key to the southern tip of Anna Maria Island.
There was building tools — a backhoe and water trailer parked within the grass on the fringe of the roadway — on the north facet of the intersection that blocked the view of each drivers. Officers have been unable to find any pre-impact skid marks. They have been in a position to determine post-impact scuff marks and scrapes on the roadway.
Officers spoke with the property supervisor at 2121 Gulf of Mexico Drive who advised them that two residents and two workers had complained concerning the tools north of the driveway, and one of many residents was Charles Barancik.
Video of the crash and car information was obtained from each autos.
Knowledge from the police car exhibits it was touring 84 mph till the anti-lock brakes have been utilized. The officer’s airbag deployed at 55.four mph at impression. He was carrying a seat belt.
The impression of the crash dislodged the digital camera from the windshield and the video stopped.
Charles Barancik’s car was touring 9 mph and turning left from a driveway at En Provence at 2121 Gulf of Mexico Drive, when it was struck by the police car.
Digital forensics detectives decided there have been no incoming or outgoing telephone calls or textual content messages from a cellphone belonging to Charles Barancik 30 minutes earlier than or after the collision. A number of telephones have been in Vogt’s police car however none have been getting used on the time of the crash.
Based on the report, Vogt was interviewed through telephone. He advised investigators that “the one factor he remembers is the car pulled out in entrance of him.”
Gretchen Rupprecht, a safety guard at En Provence who was on the gatehouse, stated she noticed the Baranciks’ automotive cease and go from a cease signal. She noticed the automotive pull out and heard a “large bang.”
Rupprecht stated the officer appeared surprised. She advised the officer neither of the occupants of the Tesla have been transferring. She and one other passing car known as 911.
The crash investigation confirmed Charles Barancik was at fault for violating the correct of means of the police car.
Too quick for circumstances
Gulf of Mexico Drive is a non-controlled entry roadway, an arterial highway offering numerous entry factors alongside the entire size of Longboat Key from driveways and folks merging from facet streets.
The north-to-south roadway, parallel to greater than 9 miles of the Longboat Key Path, is rife with hazards reminiscent of pedestrians at crosswalks, frequent bicyclists and slower than common site visitors.
Brian Rick, a Florida Division of Transportation spokesman, says no highway could be made utterly protected however 84 mph is a precarious pace for a extremely trafficked roadway.
Speeds alongside the highway, recognized for its high-visibility police patrols, vary from 35 to 45 mph.
“The possibilities of having folks, pedestrians or autos coming onto the ability would make it inconceivable to have it something almost approaching that pace,” FDOT spokesman Brian Rick stated. “It comes all the way down to how briskly you wish to go and the way a lot you wish to threat the lifetime of another person.”
Rick stated solely on limited-access highways, the place entry factors are miles aside, might site visitors function safely at speeds as much as 80 mph. Freeway 130 in Texas is the one state highway within the nation with a pace restrict of 85 mph.
Rick concedes that emergency response groups journey properly over posted pace limits if the state of affairs requires it, however Longboat Key poses dangers.
“Each 30 toes is a driveway,” he stated. “You don’t wish to go too quick.”
The Longboat Key Police “Division Procedural Basic Orders” establishes pointers for using emergency vehicular warning gadgets throughout emergency and non-emergency conditions. It’s the coverage of the police division that each one members adhere to the statutory restrictions relating to using emergency warning gadgets, such because the activation of lights and sirens throughout emergencies.
The coverage was put in place to reduce the danger of accidents and accidents to workers and the general public, the overall orders present.
The primary guideline beneath the heading “procedures” states that in an emergency response, lights and sirens are required.
Vogt was working with solely emergency lights, the crash report states.
Walt Zalisko, a retired police chief and police best-practices skilled who owns Fort Myers-based International Investigative Group, says on this state of affairs, there was no want for for Vogt to be driving at “careless and pointless speeds.” An ambulance and a fireplace engine preceded the officer to the alarm name.
“For him to be driving at 84 mph is certainly a careless act,” Zalisko stated. “He will need to have recognized or seen different emergency autos in entrance of him responding to the decision. There was no have to be rushing, particularly on that highway the place building work was seen. … That was a harmful and reckless act.”
The previous legislation officer factors out that Vogt was touring 39 mph over the pace restrict on the time of the collision. Many businesses advocate emergency responses of 15 mph over the posted pace restrict, together with the Florida Freeway Patrol.
No pace restrict is printed within the Longboat Key Police Division’s normal orders for emergency response. Nevertheless, the doc notes the way of the response ought to “reduce the danger of accidents or accidents” to workers and the general public.
Zalisko stated the development firm and its hiring entity may be in jeopardy of a civil lawsuit as a result of the heavy tools is believed to obstructed car views and was famous in a number of complaints.
Rebecca Harris-Barancik, daughter-in-law of the Baranciks and chair of the household basis, issued a short assertion:
“The Barancik household grieves the sudden and tragic deaths of Margie and Chuck. We’re comforted by the data that their work to assist Sarasota’s kids and households will proceed.
“We thank the group for its love and assist.”