----------------------- Update -----------------------------
Decatur IL - Macon County Sheriff Deputy Brian Duffs bond was set this morning for $5,000.00. He has since been bonded out. More information will be posted as the investigation continues.
--------------------- Update --------------------
Decatur, Ill.- A Macon County Sheriff Deputy has been taken into custody and charged with Aggravated Reckless Driving.
Deputy Brian Duff, 41, was arrested after an incident involving a Macon County Sheriff's squad car and a Chevy S-10 truck.
On June 29, 2012 at 10:39 p.m., Decatur Police responded to an accident in the 2700 Block of N. Jasper street that involved two vehicles, one of which was a squad car driven by an on Duty Macon County Sheriff's Deputy.
Decatur Police Chief Todd Walker stated a Chevy S-10 pick- up truck driven by a Lloyd Dial was hauling a mattress and other items when the mattress/box spring fell out of the bed of the S-10. "Mr. Dial immediately pulled over to the east curb, activated his emergency hazard lights, and placed the vehicle in park". A passenger of Mr. Dial's, Thomas Lennox, then exited the vehicle, retrieved the box springs and was in the process of adjusting the box springs in the back of the pickup. While Mr. Lennox was at the rear of the vehicle adjusting the mattress, he and the Chevy S-10 were suddenly struck by the Macon County Sheriff's squad car which was being driven by Deputy Brian Duff, a 7 year veteran of the Sheriff's Office. The impact between the Sheriff's vehicle and S-10 was significant enough that the squad car lifted the rear of the pickup off the pavement, advancing it forward for a distance and pinning Mr. Lennox between the two vehicles, according to Chief Walker.
Mr. Lennox suffered severe injuries and was eventually transported to CARLE Hospital, in Urbana where he has underwent amputation of both lower legs and still under intensive medical supervision.
Chief Walker advised, that at the request of Macon County Sheriff Thomas Schneider, Decatur Police Traffic Investigators were requested to investigate the incident. Chief Walker advised that members of the Decatur Police Departments Fatal Accident Investigation Team were called in to investigate the matter due to their specialized and advanced training in traffic accident reconstruction. " Over the past couple of weeks members of the FAIT team have been conducting several interviews and doing an extensive investigation in order to reconstruct/ ascertain the events leading up to the accident" Walker stated.
As a result of the facts of the investigation, Chief Walker announced that Decatur Police Officers this afternoon took Deputy Brian Duff in to custody for alleged Aggravated Reckless Driving, a Class 4 Felony and booked him into the Macon County jail. "The facts of the investigation demonstrated to us that Deputy Duff's driving actions/ or a lack of actions, were clearly reckless and unsafe." In addition, Mr. Lennox suffered great bodily harm and permanent disfigurement which elevates the reckless driving charge to a preliminary charge of aggravated reckless driving", according to Walker. Walker stated this entire incident was tragic. " Our thoughts go out to Mr. Lennox and his family during this difficult and challenging recovery period, and to be frank all parties involved". We understand this incident has altered the lives of all involved. We do not take any arrest situation lightly, and recognize that this may potentially impact Mr. Duff's career in law enforcement". Walker stated that his officers were unbiased and professional in their investigation, and conferred the findings to the Macon County State's Attorney who concurred with the investigation and probable cause findings towards Deputy Duff.
Walker also stated that preliminarily there is no evidence of Deputy Duff being under the influence of alcohol or drugs according to initial tests conducted at the Illinois State Police Crime Lab, nor would police be taking any action towards Mr. Dial or Mr. Lennox. Walker advised that since the investigation is still ongoing and now in the judicial system that no further comments or specifics would be released. " We understand that some may have questions, and we are confident those questions will be answered in the appropriate legal setting, but to ensure the integrity of the investigation and afford due process we will not be voluntarily releasing any further details".