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October 15, 2006
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Fla. sheriff killed in charity bus race accident on his 47th birthday

The Associated Press

NEW SMYRNA BEACH, Fla.- A Florida sheriff was killed on his 47th birthday during an accident at a charity school bus race, the Florida Highway Patrol said Sunday.

Lake County Sheriff Chris Daniels Sr. died at the Battle of the Badges, an annual charity race for Florida Sheriff's Youth Ranches at the New Smyrna Speedway, officials said.

Witnesses said Daniels' bus spun out of control after colliding with another bus on the 12th lap of the 15-lap race. He ended up on the track and was killed by a third bus.

The FHP was investigating. The Lake County's sheriff's office didn't return calls Sunday.

"It's devastating and unbelievable," said Lake County jail operations chief Gary Borders, who saw the crash from the stands.

The event was canceled after the crash, track general manager Terry Roberts said. He said the drivers all wear seat belts and helmets and the buses are equipped with devices that limit speeds to a maximum of 45 to 50 mph.

Daniels, a Republican, was elected in 2004, the first newly elected sheriff in Lake County in 15 years.

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