Dortch resigns from ECSO
By By JOHN WALLACE
Deputy Jeremy Dortch of the Escambia County Sheriff's Department submitted a letter of resignation to Sheriff Tim Hawsey last Wednesday.
In the letter, Dortch said his resignation would become effective Oct. 1. In the letter, he wrote that the reason for his resignation was "to prevent any further conflict or schedule changes."
Hawsey said the sheriff's department has been undergoing schedule changes and some personnel changes and Dortch may have thought he was the cause of some of the changes.
Hawsey speculated that another reason for Dortch's resignation could be due to the emotional strain he has been under since his involvement in a fatal automobile accident.
Dortch was involved in a fatal wreck on Forest Avenue on Monday, May 15. Dortch was on duty at the time of the wreck.
Passengers Kapriasha Jackson, 21, of Brewton and James Jackson, 43, of Brewton were killed when a car driven by Marvin Gary Jackson was hit by Dortch.
Marvin Gary Jackson, 29, was hospitalized at D.W. McMillan Memorial Hospital and later released. Dortch was treated for injuries after the wreck and released from the hospital.
Escambia County Sheriff Tim Hawsey said Dortch was traveling through East Brewton toward the end of his shift to deliver "civil papers" in Riverview and was then going to go home for the night.
Dortch changed his plans when he heard a dispatch from the Brewton Police Department describe a vehicle similar to one he had just seen as suspect of being involved in an "act of violence." The dispatcher said the occupants should be considered "armed and dangerous."
When he realized that he might have just crossed paths with the vehicle, Dortch turned around at the intersection of Forest Avenue (Alabama Highway 41) and Simmons Street in East Brewton. He radioed Brewton dispatch as he began to accelerate and informed them that he had seen a vehicle that matched the description of the suspect vehicle and was responding.
After accelerating approximately one-tenth of a mile without turning on his emergency lights or sirens Dortch neared the Conoco Minute Stop in East Brewton just as a red car was pulling out of the service station with his headlights turned off, Hawsey said.
Dortch's car struck the passenger's side of the other car causing it to spin out of control, Hawsey said. He said the impact and spinning motion of the car caused the rear passenger, James Jackson, to be thrown from the car through the rear window. The passenger came to rest on a car parked in a driveway and was later pronounced dead.
Dortch has recently been named in a civil lawsuit by family members of the two people killed in the wreck along with Escambia County, the sheriff's department and Hawsey.
Hawsey said he did not ask for Dortch's resignation. Hawsey said he and other members of the sheriff's department have been encouraging Dortch to continue to work since the wreck in May.
The sheriff's department has several applications on file and will accept more as they look to fill the position, Hawsey said.