A Florida State Trooper, who caused a fatal crash, had his case dismissed, amid laughter, when the reporting officer failed to appear in court. The reporting officer was to appear at the hearing as a witness. The judge dismissed the case as Florida State Patrol troopers and court personnel laughed and made jokes. A video of the hearing was recently made available to the public.
Former Florida Highway Patrol Officer Detrick McClellan was reportedly responding to a call last year when he crashed into a vehicle at speeds in excess of 100 mph. One woman, Michelle Campbell, was killed by the impact. McClellan reportedly lost control of his vehicle as he drove around a curve at a high rate of speed. He was unable to gain control and slammed into the other vehicle, causing the fatal crash.
As reported by WCTV, one other woman, along with former trooper McClellan were treated for non life-threatening injuries.
Per policy, the crash was investigated internally by the Florida Highway Patrol. The incident was investigated by FHP Corporal C. Brooks Yarborough. McClellan was found to be at fault in the fatal accident, and was fired.
Prosecutors denied filing criminal charges as McClellan was responding to a call, but three traffic violations were filed. The former state trooper was charged with reckless operation of a vehicle, speeding, and failure to use emergency lights.
The traffic violations were issued by Corporal Yarborough, who was to appear during McClellan’s hearing as a witness. On the morning of November 5, Yarborough failed to appear due to a “medical emergency.” As reported by SunSentinel, the Florida Highways Patrol did not ask to reschedule.
Although the state trooper was fired for causing a fatal crash, his court case was dismissed. Troopers and court personnel present can be heard laughing and joking around during the proceedings which were recorded.
Corporal Yarborough was excused due to the medical emergency, but the Florida Highway Patrol is investigating the conduct of seven other state troopers during the hearing.
The video has reportedly led to the dismissal of a Florida Highway Patrol commander and the recommended demotion of a sergeant. Five other troopers remain under investigation for their behavior in the courtroom.
McClellan, the state trooper, who caused the fatal crash, is currently employed with a different agency in good standing.