FHP: Man was texting when hit by deputy's car

Steven Lee Lynch in critical condition

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BELLEVIEW, Fla. - The Florida Highway Patrol says a man who was critically injured when a Marion County Sheriff's patrol car struck him was texting while crossing a dark highway.

The incident happened early Sunday as 22-year-old Steven Lee Lynch crossed Baseline Road in Belleview. The Ocala Star-Banner reports Lynch remained in critical condition in Ocala Regional Medical Center on Thursday.

FHP Sgt. Allen W. Sapp wrote in his report that an inspection of Lynch's cell phone revealed that he was actively texting two people just before he was hit. Sapp wrote that could have contributed to "his distraction from seeing the traffic."

Deputy Elizabeth Hart told troopers she briefly saw the light from Lynch's phone. He was wearing dark clothing. She's undergoing counseling and hasn't returned to work.

An investigation continues.

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