A Clay County, FL, sheriff’s deputy was critically injured in an on-duty crash late Sunday morning in Orange Park, authorities said.

It happened about 11 a.m. while Traffic Deputy Ben Zirbel, a 12-year veteran of the Clay County Sheriff’s Office, was riding his agency-issued motorcycle on Blanding Boulevard at Camp Francis Johnson Road, just south of Kingsley Avenue. 

According to the Florida Highway Patrol, the traffic deputy was traveling south when the driver of a pickup truck on northbound Blanding Boulevard attempted to turn left onto Camp Francis Johnson Road.

FHP Sgt. Dylan Bryan said the driver of the Dodge Dakota pickup, which was towing a lawn trailer, failed to yield the right of way to the deputy, causing the motorcycle to collide with the trailer. 

Bryan said the deputy was thrown from the motorcycle. Troopers said Zirbel, 40, was taken to Orange Park Medical Center, where he was in critical condition at last check, News4Jax reports.

The Highway Patrol said the driver of the pickup, a 35-year-old Orange Park man, was not injured and remained at the scene to speak with investigators. 

Charges are pending, according to the Highway Patrol. Troopers continue to investigate the crash.


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