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Off-Duty Officer Injured in Head-On Collision

An officer was injured on Tuesday night in a wrong-way collision.

Details about the Wrong-Way Collision

WTSP News is reporting that an officer from Temple Terrace was injured on Tuesday evening when a wrong way driver slammed into his patrol vehicle.

According to the Florida Highway Patrol, just after 9 p.m. on Tuesday night, Officer William Dittman was heading home from a firearms training class in Lakeland in the northbound lanes of US-301. When he turned left onto Clinton Avenue, a Hyundai Sonata hit him nearly head on.

The Sonata was being driven by Louise Valentine, who was heading south on Fort King Road at Clinton Avenue when she turned left and began heading east in the westbound lanes.

Due to the force of the collision, Valentine’s vehicle spun around and hit a Honda Civic that was being driven by Charity Chagro.

Officer Dittman turned his emergency lights on just before being hit to alert other drivers. Even though he was injured in the accident, Officer Dittman did render first aid at the scene of the accident.

63-year-old Valentine was transported via helicopter to Bayonet Point and is in serious condition.

Officer Dittman and Chagro both suffered minor injuries. Officer Dittman was taken to St. Joseph’s Hospital and Chagro was treated at the scene of the accident and then released.

At this point in the investigation, alcohol is not suspected to have been a factor in the accident. Charges are pending at this time.

Important Information about Traffic Collisions

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, there are thousands of wrongful deaths every year in the United States involving motor vehicle accidents:

  • In 2014, there were a total of 32,675 motor vehicle accident fatalities in the United States.
  • There were a total of 6.1 reported traffic accidents in the United States in 2014.
  • An additional 2.3 million people were injured in motor vehicle accidents in 2014.

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