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Amber Alert

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Monroe County deputy dies in crash with tractor-trailer

Traffic Enforcement Deputy Nick Pham was in a festive mood Wednesday, talking about holiday plans with co-workers at lunchtime before getting into his unmarked Monroe County Sheriff's Office car to patrol the Florida Keys' roads.

At 12:20 p.m., Pham, 38, died in a collision with a tractor-trailer while apparently making a U-turn to chase a vehicle violating a traffic law, according to witnesses and the Florida Highway Patrol.

''It was just very unfortunate,'' said Debbie Tousignant, who witnessed the accident while she and three family members were driving east on U.S. 1 near mile marker 62. ``The car turned in front of the truck, a U-turn, and that was it. There was no time for the truck to stop.''

The 2007 Freightliner 18-wheeler driven by Thomas S. Hollingsworth, 43, of Sarasota, slammed squarely into the driver's side of the 2008 Dodge Charger driven by Pham.