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Florida Police Body Camera Captures Car Collision with Drunk, Semi-Nude Female Driver

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West Palm Beach police officer Eric Everly found himself heavily involved in the scene of an accident this past Thursday morning, when his marked WPB patrol vehicle struck a civilian vehicle being driven by Cynthia Osborne. Interestingly, given the national fervor over increasing legislation mandating police body cameras, Officer Everly was wearing a body camera during the entirety of the accident and ensuing investigation. The footage of the accident, which was later leaked online, shows Officer Everly driving his marked patrol car, while navigating through his mobile phone with his right hand. Moments later, as the squad car approaches the intersection of Australian Avenue and Worthington Road, a vehicle makes a left turn into the oncoming traffic of Officer Everly’s police vehicle.

In the video, Everly can be seen emerging shortly after the impact, which deployed multiple airbags inside of his patrol car as the result of the intensity of the impact.

Though not visible from above about four feet from the ground visually, the officer’s body camera continued to roll as he reached the other driver’s vehicle to survey the scene of the accident. At this time, per witness, police, and audio statements on the body camera video, Osborne, a fifty-three year old resident of West Palm Beach County, attempted to emerge from her vehicle only moments after the accident while topless, with both breasts visibly exposed to both the officer and witnesses to the crash.

In the audio, Everly can be audibly heard politely asking the woman to cover herself, while expressing bewilderment at the scene. Ultimately, law enforcement officers responding to the accident reported that Osborne allegedly was driving with an opener container of wine, later charging the woman with refusal to submit to a BAC test, driving under the influence, and driving without a valid operator’s license. According to records, Osborne incurred a single prior driving while drunk arrest only months previously as well. Osborne is expected to remain in custody until both her outstanding DUI cases are resolved through the legal system.

At the scene of the accident, Officer Everly does at one point return to Everly’s vehicle as she attempts to drive the vehicle following the accident and remove the car’s keys from Osborne’s ignition. Though in the audio of the police body camera video Everly informally notes neck pain and visual disturbances, neither he nor Osborne sustained only minor, non-lethal injuries in the accident.

In the state of Florida, claims for punitive damages, as well as economic and non-economic losses, can be made in car accident cases involving criminal conduct, as these criminal law violations such as DUI causing a car accident, display both intentional misconduct and gross negligence, per Florida’s punitive damages statutes.

References:

http://www.sun-sentinel.com/local/palm-beach/fl-west-palm-bodycam-crash-20150925-story.html

http://www.wpbf.com/news/police-body-camera-captures-accident-on-video/35489356

http://www.leg.state.fl.us/statutes/index.cfm?App_mode=Display_Statute&URL=0700-0799/0768/Sections/0768.72.html