Volusia deputy suspended after 4-vehicle crash in Edgewater

Deputy was driving 81 mph, report says


VOLUSIA COUNTY, Fla. – A Volusia County deputy who was involved in a four-vehicle crash in Edgewater in December has been suspended without pay for 160 hours, according to a letter provided by the sheriff's office.

Officials said Deputy Cory Freeburn was driving 81 mph without his lights or sirens activated while responding as backup to a non-emergency call in New Smyrna Beach on Dec. 20, when his vehicle collided with another vehicle as they were both entering the intersection of South Ridgewood and Marion avenues in Edgewater.

Freeburn's vehicle then traveled across the median and hit two other vehicles that were traveling on U.S. Highway 1. 

Three people, including the deputy, were taken to Halifax Medical Center. One passenger had injuries so severe that the Edgewater Police Department initiated a traffic homicide investigation.

Officials said both drivers were at fault in the crash. Freeburn was driving 36 mph over the speed limit, and the other driver, a 76-year-old man, had a blood alcohol level of .106, the report said.

Freeburn's 2015 Ford Taurus Police Interceptor was totaled in the crash, costing the Volusia County Sheriff's Office $22,098. Damage to other vehicles involved in the crash cost $9,800. Sheriff Mike Chitwood wrote in the suspension letter that this is the second crash Freeburn has been involved in within 28 months, costing a loss of $48,098.

Details on the first crash Freeburn was involved in were not available.

"Deputy Freeburn, although you were partially at fault for this most recent crash, you again failed to properly follow state traffic laws. For a second time in a little over two years, you have cost the Sheriff's Office approximately $48,098 in equipment, not to mention the injuries suffered by not only yourself, but others involved," Chitwood wrote.

Freeburn was ordered to serve his unpaid suspension from June 3 to June 30. When he returns on July 1, he will be reassigned to the Judicial Services Division. He is also indefinitely suspended from operating a Sheriff's Office vehicle.

When and if that privilege is reinstated, he will need to complete an emergency vehicle operations course.

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