Two Palm Beach County deputies were chasing a stolen vehicle in the Everglades when another deputy’s car struck them. Both of the deputies hit by the patrol car were killed, the other deputy was injured. One of the car thieves was eventually arrested.
The deputies, described as very close friends, had put spikes on a road that punctured the stolen car’s tires. But when they ran to remove the spikes from the road they were struck at about 1:45 a.m. by a canine patrol vehicle that was pursuing the car thieves, Sheriff Ric Bradshaw said.
The car that was stolen came to a halt after its tires were punctured by the spikes. The thieves then ran into the sugarcane fields and the patrol car that hit the deputies ran into a canal. After over 75 officers searched for the criminals for five hours they eventually found Ernie Kirk Daley Jr, 19, who will be charged with four felony counts of fleeing and eluding an officer with injury.
The killed officers were identified as 13-year veteran Donta Manuel, 33, and Jonathan Wallace, 23, who had been with the sheriff’s office for 1 1/2 years.
The driver of the patrol car that hit the deputies had a concussion and a broken arm. A trainee in the car was treated for minor injuries and the police dog was not injured.
For more information on this subject, please refer to our section on Car and Motorcycle Accidents.