68ºF

FHP: Sheriff's Office not cooperating with Osceola deputy-involved fatal crash investigation

Deputy Gloria Boccio's squad car crashed into pickup truck, killing 1 in October

KISSIMMEE, Fla. – Investigating troopers with Florida Highway Patrol said it's still not clear why Osceola County deputy Gloria Boccio's squad car crashed into a pickup truck back in October. 

Troopers said they cannot determine what caused the crash to occur, because the Osceola County Sheriff's Office is not cooperating with the investigation.

Robert Johnston, 34, was stopped at a red light on U.S. Highway 192 in Kissimmee on Oct. 5, when deputy Boccio's squad car rear-ended Johnston's pickup truck. Johnston was taken to a nearby hospital where he later died.

Boccio, in a call to the Osceola County Sheriff's Office, claimed the brakes in her patrol car failed. 

"I need someone from service center to be en route out here," Boccio said in a phone conversation. "I need to talk to them. These brakes there's no (expletive) brakes on my car just now." 

A spokesperson for the Osceola County Sheriff's Office said they have cooperated with the investigation into their deputy's involvement in the deadly crash, and have turned over all requested evidence to Florida Highway Patrol, who is in charge of the investigation. 

"We have fully cooperated and transparent with any investigation and we have [turned over all evidence,]" Maj. Jacob Ruiz with the Osceola County Sheriff's Office said. 

However, documents show the Osceola County Sheriff's Office has not delivered numerous requested evidence items, including radio transmissions, Boccio's work issued cellphone and assigned computer, to help determine if she was distracted while she was driving. 

In a statement to News 6, Lt. Kim Montes with Florida Highway Patrol said: 

I just spoke with the traffic homicide investigator in charge of the fatal crash, from Oct 5.
He has not received all of the items that he has requested from the Osceola Sheriff’s Office.
He has attempted to obtain these items over the last few weeks, but has been unsuccessful.
The investigation is ongoing and charges are pending.

A recently released crash report also shows deputy Boccio was not wearing a seat belt while she was driving her squad car when the crash occurred.

"Nobody is above the law," Maj. Ruiz added. "If there's a deputy breaking the law, something as simple as not wearing her seat belt, it's important that we reinforce that they do."

News 6 was unable to reach Deputy Boccio for this report.  

Boccio was ticketed for an improper lane change on Tuesday after troopers said her squad car served to avoid a car slowing down in front of her, causing a crash on 417 near the 408 interchange. 

After Tuesday's crash where Boccio was ticketed, the Osceola County Sheriff's Office said they've reassigned deputy Boccio to a different position that does not require she drive a vehicle, until an internal review is completed.


About the Author: