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Car accident leads Florida teenager to invite deputy to graduation

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Posted at 9:18 AM, Jun 08, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-08 12:15:32-04

TAMPA, Fla. — A Tampa teen invited a Hillsborough County deputy to his graduation after rear-ending her patrol vehicle on the interstate.

Quintin Montgomery, 18, said he was driving on I-275 in Tampa when traffic suddenly stopped. He hit the vehicle ahead of him.

"I was traveling to work. I was on I-275 and was trying to get into the downtown lane," Montgomery said.

The deputy was not injured but got out of her vehicle to check on the other driver.

"He was real upset," said Sgt. Vance with the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office. "I just tried to calm him down and just tell him it was really no big deal. It was an accident. These things happen all the time."

Montgomery said the two chatted for at least an hour while waiting on another deputy to arrive and complete a crash report. Montgomery did not receive a ticket.

The teen invited the deputy to his graduation on May 28 at Jefferson High School.

"I told her I had to graduate the next day and then I wasn't actually sure they would come to my graduation," Montgomery said. "I feel like they cared about my safety. Even though I wasn't hurt. I think they cared for my safety."

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Vance said the teen was not distracted or speeding. Both vehicles had minor damage.

She ended up attending Montgomery's graduation so she could congratulate him.

"These tiny moments where you make a little bit of an impact in someone's life. I'm happy that I got to hopefully do that for him," Vance said.

"That was actually a good feeling because even though I wasn't hurt or anything, they still came up to check on me so it made me feel like they actually cared about my health," Montgomery said. "Just drive safe."

This story was originally published by Julie Salomone on Scripps station WFTS in Tampa.