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Motorcyclist hit by deputy talks about accident

ESCAMBIA COUNTY - An Escambia County deputy has been cited for an improper left turn after crashing into a motorcyclist, and now we have reaction from that victim.

The crash happened on Gulf Beach Highway at Jamaica Street around 8:30 p.m. last night.

The Florida Highway Patrol says Deputy Denise Ives was driving eastbound on Gulf Beach Highway when she went to make a left turn at Jamaica Street and collided with the oncoming motorcycle.

"I saw a car in the turn lane. I don't recall seeing a blinker on," said Steve Larkin, who was driving that motorcycle home from Bible study when the accident happened.

"Headlights...That's all I saw," Larkin recalled, "And as I got within 20 feet of the car all the sudden it's turning. As I hit the vehicle I realized it's a sheriff's car because of the large bumper that they have and such. I slid over the hood of the car and ended up in a crumpled heap on the other side of the police car."
   
Larkin says Deputy Ives immediately got out of her vehicle.

"She's like, 'I'm so sorry. I'll stay right here with you.'Then she got on the radio and got help on the way," Larkin said.

The Sheriff's Office says Ives was responding to a call but did not have her flashing lights on. She's been on the force since 2012 and during that time she's had no other accidents.

Larkin was hospitalized for about five hours and is considering legal action.

"I have a couple sutures in my leg that are a little sore and a couple in my bicep here," Larkin said, "We're not really sure about the knee yet. Swelling's gotta go down and I gotta see an orthopedic person."
   
In addition to the citation from FHP, the Sheriff's Office is reviewing the accident.

Larkin, who was wearing a helmet, says he's not angry with Deputy Ives, just grateful the crash wasn't any worse.

"You would think they would be some of the better drivers on the road," Larkin said, "But a car or a motorcycle at night, it's difficult to judge."