DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- Frank Scofield had been a patrol deputy, SWAT team member and among the longest-tenured in the marine unit, but his career and his life ended early on this Sunday when he was struck by a van while riding his bicycle and pronounced dead three hours later in the hospital. He was 58.
Scofield, a senior deputy, who started his career with the VCSO in 1995, is survived in Port Orange by his wife, son and daughter.
Here is a synopsis of what occurred in the fatal accident, according to the Florida Highway Patrol: Scofield and a friend were pedaling their bicycles on County Road 415 when Scofield, in the lead, turn righted right onto Pioneer Trail. The driver of the Dodge van, 75-year-old Lajos Dezso Toth of Lake Helen, failed to stop at the stop sign and struck Scofield from behind, sending him into a ditch, according to eyewitnesses. Scofioeld's bicycle was snapped in half in the crash. He was wearing a bicycle helmet. The accident remains under investigation with charges pending against the motorist.
Scofield, the 24-year senior deputy, was airlifted from the scene to Halifax Health Medical Center in Daytona Beach and was pronounced dead at 10:30 a.m.
Sheriff Mike Chitwood said at a press conference later in the day that he had passed the bicyclists on his own bicycle, according to a story posted in the Daytona Beach News-Journal. Headline Surfer was not notified by the VCSO of the press conference occurring in keeping with Chitwood's all-out media ban on Headline Surfer dating back to Jan. 3, 2017 when he was sworn into office and had Headline Surfer barred from attending his initial press conference. And Chitwood subsequently had the award-winning news outlet removed from the agency's email media alerts.
The president of the Volusia County Deputies Association, the union that represents deputies, said he and his fellow deputies were “absolutely devastated” as word spread quickly about Scofield's tragic death.
“Frank Scofield was one of those guys who found a way to help every deputy in this agency at one time or another,” said Sgt. Brodie Hughes, head of Volusia County Deputies Association, Local 6035. “He will be sorely missed.”