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Osceola deputy cited in fatal crash to lose license for 6 months

Sheriff's Office internal investigation into crash ongoing

An Osceola County Sheriff's Office deputy was adjudicated guilty Wednesday on citations related to the crash she was involved in that killed a 34-year-old man in October, and will lose her license for six months as part of a plea deal.

Troopers said Gloria Boccio was driving a marked Dodge Charger patrol car Oct. 5, 2018, eastbound on U.S. 192 when, for an unknown reason, she failed to slow down to accommodate for traffic stopped at a red light.

Boccio's patrol car slammed into the back of a Ford pickup truck driven by Robert Johnston, the report said. The force of the crash pushed Johnston's truck into a Dodge van, which then hit a Ford Focus, according to authorities.

[TIMELINE: Osceola County Sheriff's Office response after deputy caused fatal crash]

Johnston died at an area hospital. His family received $200,000 from the county in January as part of a settlement.

Boccio was ticketed in May for careless driving and failure to wear a seat belt. Appearing in court Wednesday, Boccio's attorneys entered a plea of no contest to careless driving.

As part of the plea deal, Boccio will lose her license for six months and must pay a $1,000 fine. In exchange for her plea, the state agrees to drop a separate citation for driving without a seat belt.

The judge adjudicated Boccio guilty of careless driving that led to the fatal crash.

“She received a penalty that most people would receive in the same type of situation,” said Florida Highway Patrol spokeswoman Lt. Kim Montes. 

FHP crash investigators said they cited Boccio with careless driving, a non-criminal traffic infraction, because there was no indication the deputy was doing anything else improper prior to the crash such as speeding or driving recklessly.  

“None of the evidence from this crash investigation supported that she did anything criminal that would rise to the level of a more serious charge,” said Montes. 

According to the report, Boccio applied her brakes at the very last second, bringing her speed down from 53 mph to 49 mph five seconds before hitting the victim's truck.

After the crash, Boccio was placed on paid administrative leave. After she was involved in another crash in November Boccio was reassigned to a role that does not require her to drive a patrol vehicle.

No one was injured in the November incident. Boccio was ticketed for an improper lane change.

The Osceola County Sheriff’s Office internal investigation into the October crash is ongoing, according to a sheriff spokesman.


About the Authors:

Emilee Speck

Emilee is a digital journalist for News 6 and ClickOrlando.com, where she writes about space and Central Florida news. Previously, Emilee was a space writer and web editor for the Orlando Sentinel and a producer at the Naples Daily News. Emilee is a Space Coast native and graduate of the University of North Florida journalism program.

Mike DeForest

Emmy Award-winning investigative reporter Mike DeForest has been covering Central Florida news for more than 15 years. Mike joined News 6 just as Florida officials began counting hanging chads in the aftermath of the 2000 presidential election. Since then, he has covered some of the biggest news events in Central Florida.

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