A woman asleep on the beach was accidentally run over by a Walton County Sheriff's Office deputy.
According to a press release from the sheriff's office, at approximately 6:05 p.m. on Tuesday May 28 Chad Biernacki, a deputy with the Walton County Sheriff’s Office (WCSO) was patrolling the beach area southwest of Pompano Joe’s, also known as Miramar Beach.
The deputy came into contact with a group of underage drinkers and issued Notice to Appear (NTA) to the subjects. After clearing the scene, Deputy Biernacki got back into his patrol vehicle. He looked around his vehicle and saw no one in his immediate area so he put the vehicle into drive and began to move forward.
Biernacki then began to turn the vehicle to the right to make a U-turn and travel in the other direction down the beach. Biernacki stated he felt “a slight bump” to his vehicle and heard a female curse. The deputy reported that at no time did anyone yell at him to stop or tried to flag him to let him know he was going to hit someone.
Biernacki exited the vehicle and found two females located on the front passenger side, one of which had a tire mark on her right shoulder. The deputy assessed her injuries and called for EMS.
South Walton Fire Rescue arrived on scene and transported the pedestrian to Sacred Heart for treatment and observation. She is in stable condition at this time and she may be released today.
According to information gathered, the victim had been asleep on the beach for over 20 minutes before the deputy got back in his vehicle and she did not wake up until the vehicle hit her.
Florida Highway Patrol (FHP) responded to the scene and worked the accident. Deputy Biernacki was found at fault. He is not on administrative leave at this time.