On Thursday, April 27, 2017, PCSO deputies arrested 48-year-old John Camfield of Davenport, a former Mississippi law enforcement officer, for:
- 4 counts DUI and Property Damage (M-1)
- 1 count DUI (M-1)
- 1 count DUI with Serious Bodily Injury (F-3)
- 1 count Leaving the Scene of a Crash with Serious Bodily Injury (F-3)
- 1 count DUI Manslaughter (F-3)
- 1 count Reckless Driving With Serious Bodily Injury (F-3)
- 1 count Vehicular Homicide (F-2)
- 1 count Leaving the Scene of a Crash Involving Death (F-1)
PCSO confirmed Camfield was a law enforcement agency at the following Mississippi agencies, and possibly more: Yolobusha County Sheriff's Office, Tunica County Sheriff's Office, Oxford Police Department, Hernando Police Department.
An excerpt from the affidavit is below, and is self-explanatory:
On 04-27-17 at approximately 1659 hours suspect, John Camfield, was operating his vehicle (2008 Kia Rio 4-door) within the area of Poinciana, Polk County, Florida. Camfield was northbound on Allegheney Road approaching the intersection of Athabasca Dr.
For unknown reasons the suspect's vehicle left the roadway. A witness was traveling northbound behind the suspect vehicle and observed Camfield lean forward in the vehicle and then leave the roadway onto the east shoulder. The witness advised she saw the vehicle strike multiple juvenile victims.
During the time the suspect left the roadway there was a group of kids walking on the east shoulder of the roadway. The group had just got off the school bus (for Dundee Ridge Middle Academy) and were walking home. The suspect struck one of the juvenile victims, 15 year old Jonte Robinson (male), with a glancing blow and struck him with the passenger side of the vehicle to his left arm and left leg. Jonte was complaining of pain to his wrist and ankle.
The suspect continued in a northerly direction on the shoulder of the road striking another juvenile victim, 14 year old Jasmine Robertson (female), with a glancing blow. Jasmine complained of back pain.
Victim, 12 year old Rylan Pryce (male), was also struck by the car with a glancing blow and complained of pain to is left arm.
The suspect continued off the roadway in a northerly direction and struck two other juvenile victims, 13 year old Jahiem Robertson (Jasmine's brother) and 13 year old Juan Mena (male). Both Robertson and Mena sustained serious, life-threatening injuries to included spinal injuries, facial fractures, and head trauma.
Jahiem and Juan were both airlifted to Arnold Palmer Children's Hospital in Orlando. Jahiem succumbed to his injuries on Friday, April 28, 2017.
Roadway evidence showed no signs of pre-impact braking and a post-crash debris field supported the fact the juvenile victims were off the roadway on the shoulder at the time of impact.
Witnesses stated after impact with the juvenile victims, the suspect traveled back onto the roadway, slowed and then accelerated rapidly in a northerly direction without stopping or rendering aid.
One witness followed the suspect until he turned right on Bayberry Rd and left on Poinciana Parkway until she observed the vehicle apparently stopped. While continuing to travel on Poinciana Parkway the suspect failed to property avoid the vehicle in front of him, which cause the front of the Kia to impact the rear of a Nissan Murano. This impact disabled the KIA and prevented him from traveling further.
At approximately 1800 hours Traffic Deputy Brackley made contact with the suspect at the second crash scene (he had been detained by off-duty Deputy Sheriff Jonathan Quintana - see below). During his contact with the suspect Brackley observed maximum clues of impairment during consensual field sobriety tasks. Brackley also noted faint odor of alcohol emitting from the suspect and observed poor coordination/balance. Post-crash investigation revealed that the suspect traveled approximately 4000 feet from the area of the hit and run to the second crash site.
During this entire series of events the suspect made no attempt to render aid or report the crashes. The investigation determined that the suspect's actions were reckless, during the impact with the numerous juvenile victims on the side of the road, and were without regard of life or property.
During this crash the suspect was unlawfully impaired and his faculties were impaired to the extent he could not safely operate a motor vehicle. Post-crash a search warrant was obtained for the suspect's blood and those results are pending toxicology results.
At 2347 hours a breath test of the suspect was conducted at the Polk County Jail. The results were a .147 BAC.
Off-duty PCSO Deputy Sheriff Jonathan "JJ" Quintana, who lives in the area, was on the phone with his 11-year-old daughter, who had called him to come pick her up from the bus stop (she rides the same bus) when she saw Camfield crash into the 5 children. His daughter began screaming into the phone, and Deputy Quintana ran out of his house, barefoot, to the scene.
When the deputy arrived and saw the injured children, he ran back to get his patrol car with his first aid kit inside. He drove back to the scene to tend to the victims, and saw two nurses treating the injured - they yelled out to him in which direction the suspect vehicle fled. Deputy Quintana immediately left to locate the suspect, and caught up to the suspect vehicle on Poinciana Parkway, after it had crashed into a stopped car. Deputy Quintana grabbed his agency-issued rifle from within his vehicle and his handcuffs and detained the suspect, while calling for backup. PCSO deputies were already en-route, having been called by witnesses.
Deputy Quintana is 30 years old and has been a deputy sheriff since 2013. He works the night shift in the Northeast District (Davenport). Had he been scheduled to work on the evening of April 27th, he would not have been home when the crash occurred.