Deputy crash costs Santa Clara County $5M

SAN JOSE, Calif. - Santa Clara County is on the hook for a $5 million settlement in a crash involving a sheriff's deputy who allegedly took his eyes off the road while eating a McDonald's hamburger.

The San Jose Mercury News reported on Tuesday (http://bit.ly/1a2BT5O) that Deputy Greg Markovic smashed into Diem Van Lam's Honda in January, leaving Van Lam with injuries including broken ribs and a skull fracture.

Authorities say Markovic became distracted after biting into the hamburger and putting it down. He allegedly reached for his radio microphone, but fumbled, turning on his rear amber warning lights accidentally.

Police and sheriff's reports say he crashed into Lam while looking down to turn the lights off.

Lam's attorney, Michael Shea Jr., says the county is self-insured for the first $2 million. Its insurance company covers the rest.

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