Driver arrested in death of Broward Sheriff's Office Deputy Benjamin Nimtz

Darran Johnson, 32, was impaired, ran red light, authorities say

By Amanda Batchelor - Senior Digital Editor

DEERFIELD BEACH, Fla. - A Boynton Beach man was arrested Wednesday afternoon following a crash that killed Broward Sheriff's Office Deputy Benjamin Nimtz.

Authorities said Darran Johnson, 32, was arrested at BSO's Central Broward district office in Fort Lauderdale. 

He faces charges of vehicular homicide, DUI manslaughter and 11 other criminal counts and infractions.

Detectives said Nimtz was responding to assist other deputies who were called to a domestic dispute around 3 a.m. July 21 when Johnson's Toyota Tundra crashed into Nimtz's police vehicle in Deerfield Beach.

Authorities said Nimtz had his emergency lights and siren activated as he was heading south on Military Trail approaching the intersection of Southwest 10th Street. 

As the deputy entered the intersection, Johnson ran the red light and struck the passenger side of Nimtz's patrol vehicle, detectives said.

Impairment was also a contributing factor in the crash, investigators said. 

The posted speed limit in the area was 45 mph.

Nimtz and Johnson were both taken to Broward Health North after the crash. Nimtz died at the hospital.

Johnson was treated and released later in the week. 

Records show Johnson has a lengthy history of driving infractions, from driving with a suspended license to running lights, in nearly every county in South Florida.

Authorities are asking anyone who witnessed the crash or has additional information to call BSO Traffic Homicide Detective Carlos De Jesus at 954-321-4842.

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