Police crashes leave injuries, damage
Officer: Car too big for me

Kissimmee police Officer Wendy Quiñones kept running into things with her patrol car.

In three years, she had four traffic accidents for which she was solely to blame, according to state records.

One 2009 accident sent a man to the hospital when she turned left and plowed into a truck that was sitting at a red light.

The sun was in her eyes, she told the crash investigator.

The three other crashes were minor: She hit a yellow concrete pole at a McDonald's drive-through window, ran over an electrical box in a bank parking lot and hit a curb at 30 mph when she steered wide to avoid hitting three sandhill cranes, according to crash reports.

Why did she have so many accidents?

"I couldn't see," she told the Sentinel. "The car was so big, and I was so little."

Quiñones, who is 5 feet tall, drove a Crown Victoria. She asked the agency for a smaller Chevy Impala but didn't get one, she said. Instead, the department gave her a booster seat.

She was fired in 2010, she said, because she didn't report a minor crash.


"I'm in cosmetology school."

Chase ends with mom, kids hurt

State Trooper Andrew M. Barrett spotted a red Pontiac on Interstate 95 near Daytona Beach with a license plate that didn't look right. So he flipped on his emergency lights and gave chase.

That April 2009 pursuit would last two minutes and cover three miles, but before it was over, he would drive the wrong way down an I-95 entrance ramp, go 80 mph in a 45-mph zone, spin out of control into oncoming traffic and crash with an SUV carrying a mother and three children, according to state records.

The problem, said witness Bianca Lee, was that the trooper tried to mimic the getaway driver.

"It zoomed past cars, doing left, right, left," she said. "The trooper tried to do the same thing."

After hitting the SUV, she said, the trooper crashed into a tree and, even when it started smoking, stayed inside the car.

"I think he was in shock. My dad pulled him out," she said.