UPDATE: WCSO to review beach patrol procedures after accident

Published: Wednesday, May 29, 2013 at 11:33 AM.

A woman asleep on the beach got quite the wake-up call from Walton County Sheriff's Office last night.

At approximately 6 p.m. Tuesday evening, Deputy Chad Biernacki with WCSO was patrolling the southwest beach area of Pompano Joes. After issuing an NTA to an underage drinker, Biernacki got back into his patrol vehicle.

According to the press release, he looked around his vehicle and began to make a U-turn when he felt a "slight bump" and heard a female curse. Biernacki reported he did not hear anyone yell for him to stop nor did he see anyone trying to alert him that someone was about to be hit. The victim had been asleep for more than 20 minutes and did not wake up until the vehicle hit her.

When Biernacki exited his vehicle, he found two females on the front passenger side, one of whom had a tire mark on her right shoulder. The deputy called for EMS. South Walton Fire Rescue arrived on the scene and transported Destin resident Jessica Nystrom to Sacred Heart on the Emerald Coast where she is in stable condition and may be released today.

"To my knowledge, this is the first time anything like this has happened," said Wendy Ammons, public information officer. "We're glad she's okay and in good shape."

Major AJ Smith has only been with Walton County Sheriff's Office for a few months, but said when he asked longstanding employees about similar accidents happening in the past, no one could recall such an incident.

"One time is too many," he said.  

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