Lake County deputy killed, 1 man seriously injured in head-on collision, FHP says

Deputy Herbert 'Bert' Cole, 40, pronounced dead at scene

By Dawn Jorgenson - Graham Media Group

Deputy Herbert Cole

LAKE COUNTY, Fla. - A Lake County deputy was killed and another man was seriously injured in a head-on collision on County Road 439 Saturday morning, Florida Highway Patrol officials said.

Troopers said Deputy Herbert “Bert” Cole, 40, was driving north on CR 439 around 6:45 a.m. and the driver of the other car, Tyler Cassell, 18, was driving south.

For an unknown reason, Cassell veered into the northbound lanes and his pickup truck struck Cole’s car head-on, causing Cassell to be thrown from his vehicle, which then caught fire, FHP officials said.

Cole was pronounced dead at the scene, and Cassell was flown to an area hospital as a trauma alert.

The Lake County Sheriff’s Office released a statement Saturday afternoon:

“It is with great sadness that we report the tragic passing of detention deputy Herbert ‘Bert’ Cole. He was on his way home this morning when a motorist crossed the center line, striking Cole’s vehicle. Cole was pronounced deceased at the scene.”

“We are saddened to hear of the passing of Lake County Sheriff Office’s Detention Deputy Herbert 'Bert',"the Seminole County Sheriff’s Office said on Saturday. “We offers our condolences to the Cole family and the women and men of the LCSO.”

The crash remains under investigation by the Florida Highway Patrol, and charges are pending.

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