McDonald's Hamburger Leads To $5 Million Settlement for Deputy's Crash

Hamburger, radio and lights all distracted deputy, who severely injured citizen.

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    NEWSLETTERS

    A $5 million hamburger?

    The bill to taxpayers for a crash caused by sheriff's deputy in Santa Clara County distracted by, among other things, a McDonald's hamburger is steep indeed, according to the San Jose Mercury News.

    Deputy Greg Markovic took his eyes off the road as he was driving his patrol car Jan. 9, 2012, according to the newspaper. He had a hamburger, a "radio microphone that got stuck and a light switch he accidentally turned on" -- and then he "smashed into Diem Van Lam's 1994 Honda," the newspaper reported.

    The crash occurred at about 4 a.m., as Van Lam, 78, was driving eastbound on the Lawrence Expressway to deliver newspapers.

    The deputy took a bite of his burger, put his burger down, reached for his radio which got stuck, then turned on his rear amber warning lights. He looked down to turn those lights off -- and then smashed into the driver's side door of Van Lam's vehicle.

    Van Lam suffered a skull fracture, a torn aorta and seven broken ribs, the newspaper reported.

    The deputy may also have run a red light, according to Van Lam's lawyer.

    Markovic isn't on patrol anymore -- he is on "what is likely to be permanent disability" after rescuing a child from a crash on Highway 17.

    The settlement in the crash is $5 million.