Officer In Crash That Killed Sarasota Philanthropists Fired
A Longboat Key police officer has been fired following a crash that killed well-known philanthropists Charles and Margery Baranick.
The Sarasota Police Department found that Officer Jeffrey Vogt was not at fault in the crash on December 18.
But an internal investigation by the Longboat Key Police found that Vogt revealed evidence of misconduct involving excessive speed and in-car video recording equipment policies, according to a release from the City of Longboat Key.
Vogt was responding to a fire alarm in his SUV when he collided with the Barancik’s Tesla.
The investigation concluded that Vogt activated the emergency lights on his patrol car but not his siren. Video from the police vehicle showed Vogt was traveling 84 miles per hour -- nearly twice the legal speed limit -- when he applied his brakes and attempted to steer his patrol car to avoid the crash.
Police say there was construction equipment on the north side of the intersection that blocked the view of both drivers. The investigation showed Charles Barancik, 91, was found at fault for violating the right of way of the patrol car.
He died the night of the crash. His wife Margery, 83, suffered serious injuries and was transported from the scene to Sarasota Memorial Hospital where she died the next day.
Vogt suffered non-life threatening injuries. He was on disability/administrative leave from the date of the accident through date of his termination.
The Baranciks founded their philanthropic foundation in 2014.
The organization has awarded millions of dollars to support a variety of initiatives, from education to the environment, medical research and the arts.