ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. — An Apopka driver says he has permanent injuries after being hit head-on by an Orange County Sheriff’s Office SUV. 9 Investigates learned that SUV was stolen, and being driven by a man who led actual deputies on a chase last year.
The innocent driver spoke only to Channel 9 investigative reporter Karla Ray about his fight to learn more about what led up to him being hit.
The man’s attorney has been requesting information from the Sheriff’s Office about the pursuit review, body camera video and pursuit policy for months. It wasn’t until 9 Investigates asked the Sheriff’s Office about the case that officials admitted the attorney’s request slipped through the cracks.
“I had one life, and now a whole new life has begun,” 36-year-old Patrick Eduoard said.
Just getting up from his in-home hospital bed and to another room is now a process for Eduoard.
“Walking used to be the easiest thing in the world, like breathing, now I have to brace myself I have to think about it before I even start walking or take any steps,” Eduoard said.
The Apopka man was a healthy Seminole State College of Florida student interested in a medical career, until a Sunday morning drive on Sept. 30, 2018, changed everything.
“I saw the car coming at me, but there was nothing I could do,” Eduoard said.
According to a crash report from Apopka police, the at-fault driver was going at least 50 miles per hour before the crash. However, requests by Eduoard’s attorney to the Orange County Sheriff’s Office for information about the chase and body camera video from OCSO they hoped would clear up questions about any liability, have gone unanswered.
“There’s been nothing,” Eduoard said.
Now, the former gym lover is fighting to walk again after his hip was dislocated and sciatic nerve damaged from the impact. He was in the intensive care unit for weeks, and has been in the hospital off-and-on for a year, recently undergoing a tendon transfer to bring movement back to his foot.
However, he said, the toll is deeper than his physical injuries.
“Mentally, it's just demoralizing. Demoralizing. Especially when you're so used to being able to get up go and do everything,” Eduoard said.
After we asked about the case, OCSO put a rush on Eduoard's attorney's records request. They expect to release those records early next week. Stay tuned to Eyewitness News for updates.
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