A 23-year-old deputy was killed in a traffic stop crash that happened Tuesday night and a suspect is behind bars.
According to investigators, on the evening of November 22, 2022, Deputy Christopher Taylor, 23, was fatally struck by a motorist while conducting a traffic stop on I-75 near mile marker 163 in Punta Gorda.
Investigators say life-saving measures were given on the scene by Good Samaritans and later by Taylor’s brothers and sisters in green.
Deputy Taylor was trauma transported to Punta Gorda ShorePoint Health, but died from injuries suffered in the crash.
Investigators say the driver, identified as 30-year-old Cassandra Smith, called 911 after losing control of her Jeep and veering across three lanes into the shoulder striking the deputy’s patrol vehicle which in turn hit the deputy.
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Smith was taken into custody by Florida Highway Patrol and transported to the Charlotte County Jail on charges of DUI Manslaughter.
Deputy Taylor joined the agency in August of 2021 and was officially sworn in on February 14.
He is survived by his parents and fiancé.
“In his little less than a year of service to Charlotte County, Chris exemplified the core values of the CCSO; Integrity, Professionalism, and Trust. Chris just celebrated his 23rd birthday on Saturday. Losing a deputy is unspeakably difficult for the agency, but the passing of such a promising and kind young man is a tremendous loss for the world,” said Sheriff Bill Prummell.
Details regarding services will be forthcoming. Please keep the family and friends of Deputy Taylor in your thoughts and prayers as we mourn the loss of our brother. His kindness, dedication, and service to his community will never be forgotten.
This is an active and ongoing criminal investigation conducted by the Florida Highway Patrol.
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