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FHP trooper in marked patrol car hits, kills pedestrian

A Florida Highway Patrol trooper driving a marked patrol car struck and killed a pedestrian early Sunday in St. Augustine.Trooper Kenneth Montgomery, 61, was attempting to overtake a driver suspected of being impaired when Vincent Kinslow, 33, of St. Augustine crossed into the path of the patrol car shortly after 2 a.m. on U.S. 1 near Florida 207, Master Sgt. Dylan Bryan, a Highway Patrol spokesman, said Sunday.

Kinslow died after being taken to Flagler Hospital. Montgomery wasn’t injured but was very shaken up by the accident, Bryan said.

Bryan said Montgomery is a member of a Highway Patrol’s specialized DUI enforcement unit. Those troopers focus on detecting impaired drivers — such as those under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

On Sunday, Montgomery was driving a Highway Patrol 2015 Dodge Charger.

“The trooper was staged at U.S. 1 and King Street when he observed what he thought was an impaired driver go by,” Bryan said. “When he was getting turned around and catching back up to that potential violator, that’s when the pedestrian ran across the roadway into the path of his patrol car. Bryan said Montgomery didn’t have the patrol car’s emergency lights or siren activated, however it’s dashboard video camera was operating when the accident occurred. Citing the ongoing investigation, Bryan said the video from the camera was not being released Sunday.

Kinslow had been crossing the southbound lanes of U.S. 1 from west to east when he was struck. He was not using a crosswalk, according to the Highway Patrol. St. Johns County Sheriff’s Office records list Kinslow as homeless. He had a history of arrests on charges of battery, DUI and probation violation in the county, the records showed information about how long Montgomery has been with the agency wasn’t available Sunday. Bryan said he wasn’t aware of any previous accidents involving Montgomery.

Montgomery remains on active duty. Under Highway Patrol policy, troopers are not required to go on administrative leave unless they are involved in a shooting incident. The agency will make counseling available to Montgomery if he wants it, Bryan said.

Bryan said according to standard Highway Patrol policies and procedures, the agency’s Traffic Homicide Unit is investigating the accident.

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