Ocala, Florida — An Ocala man involved in an accident today says he cannot believe the outcome, or how an Ocala Police Department Community Service Specialist treated him.
William R. Holloway was traveling north in the inside lane of the 100 block of NE 25th Avenue in his 1998 Chevy Silverado moments before the accident occurred.
Driving behind Holloway was an Ocala Post reporter who witnessed the accident.
A second driver, Brandon Rankin, who was driving a 2004 International TG LEE delivery truck, was in the northbound left-hand turn lane waiting to turn onto NE 2nd Street.
A third vehicle, silver in color, referred to by Ocala Police Department Community Service Officer L. Metzler as a “phantom” vehicle, was traveling northbound in the outside lane.
As the “phantom” vehicle was passing the Ocala Post reporter, the vehicle remained in the outside lane. However, as the vehicle came alongside of the Silverado, it quickly merged into the inside lane. The “phantom” vehicle did not “cut off” the Silverado, but instead it actually forced the truck out of the inside lane and into the left-hand turn lane — nearly sideswiping the front right of the Silverado.
The Silverado was forced into the left-hand turn lane where it then slammed into the right rear corner of the TG LEE delivery truck.
The silver vehicle was then in the inside lane. The driver of the vehicle seemed to slow as if they were going to stop, but then returned to the outside lane and sped off.
As Officer Metzler handed Holloway a citation for careless driving, he responded, “You have got to be kidding me.” Metzler replied, “No, you need to keep control of your vehicle.”
The Ocala Post reporter gave a statement, but it did not change the outcome.
Holloway said he was told OPD would not be pursuing the “phantom” vehicle because “that’s just how these things work out.”
According to Holloway, Officer Metzler said Florida statute 316 states a driver cannot cause another accident while avoiding one.
“I could understand if I was cut off by the driver, but they actually pushed me into the other lane. Had I held my ground, there would have been a lot more cars involved,” Holloway said. “Writing me a citation for an unavoidable accident only added insult to injury.”
Holloway was not seriously injured, but his truck was a total loss.
Holloway also said once his vehicle was towed, the tow yard tried to coerce him into signing over his truck.
Holloway has since retained legal counsel.
Holloway said he wants to see the driver of the silver vehicle, possibly a four-door Toyota or Honda, come forward and do the right thing. The person responsible for this accident can call the Ocala Police Department at 352-369-7000.