According to a news release from the sheriff's office, the accident unfolded around 1 p.m. on Wednesday afternoon.
Trigger Warning: This story contains graphic details of violence and death that readers may find disturbing
A deputy with the Pinellas County Sheriff reportedly ran over a woman who was sunbathing on St. Pete Beach. According to a news release from the sheriff's office, the accident unfolded around 1 p.m. on Wednesday afternoon.
Moments before the incident, Deputy Todd Brien was "speaking to several pedestrians on the beach" while he was parking in his fully marked vehicle behind 4450 Gulf Boulevard. Following this, he was contacted by dispatch and instructed to respond to a "911 hang-up call at another location."
Brien, who was driving his 2017 "fully marked" Chevrolet Tahoe, "made a right turn" from his parked position and ended up striking the 23-year-old woman "while she was lying on her back in the sand," revealed the sheriff's office. The woman was identified as Robin Diffenderfer, according to PEOPLE.
"According to investigators, the front driver side tire of the Tahoe drove over Diffenderfer's right side and mid to upper back area," authorities revealed. They added that Diffenderfer was immediately taken to the hospital after sustaining non-life-threatening injuries. Meanwhile, 58-year-old Brien, who has been working with the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office since November, was not injured.
An investigation into the deputy-involved pedestrian crash has been launched by the agency's Major Accident Investigation Team. Thankfully this incident did not result in a fatality unlike one that occurred back in 2017. Police in Tulsa had been pursuing 21-year-old Madison Dickson, a suspect in a series of gun-related crimes.
At one point she exited her vehicle and fled from cops with a gun in her hand. Then she pointed the weapon at Officer Kayla Johnson and Detective Ronnie Leatherman, who open fire. Shen then points her gun at Officer Jonathan Grafton’s patrol car, who in an attempt to stop her hits her with his vehicle.
"If you have to use any means to end that threat - not necessarily that person's life, but to end that threat - that's what you do," said Sgt. Shane Tuell of the incident. Dickson was pronounced dead on the scene.
Per reports, Dickson had allegedly shot a man in the head just two days before her death. She was already wanted for a theft of a Best Buy on March 11, 2017. The following day, Dickson shot a woman in the arm outside Walgreens as she would not get out of the car. That very day, she allegedly attempted to steal a license place from a parked vehicle at a local movie theater before pointing her gun at an employee there.
Representative cover image source: Getty | Photo by Brandon Pack / EyeEm