JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — A Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office corrections officer has been arrested for DUI manslaughter and vehicular homicide in a crash that killed a man earlier this month, Jacksonville Sheriff T.K. Waters said Tuesday.
Waters said Officer Cashius Edwards, 28, has been employed by JSO since Jan. 30, 2017. He has exclusively worked as a corrections officer during that time.
He has been suspended without pay and has been stripped of all of his authority as a correctional officer, Waters said.
Before 2 a.m. on Nov. 12, the victim who died in the crash was driving a Mitsubishi Outlander southbound on South Lane Avenue approaching San Juan Avenue.
“Edwards was driving at a very high rate of speed,” Waters said. According to Edwards’ arrest report, he was going northbound in a 2020 Toyota Camry on South Lane Avenue, also approaching San Juan Avenue.
As the victim proceeded to turn left on San Juan Avenue, Edwards crashed into the right front portion of the victim’s car, causing it to overturn. According to the arrest report, the Mitsubishi Outlander came to rest on its passenger’s side.
The victim died at the scene and Edwards had non-life-threatening injuries in the crash, Waters said.
Officers “observed evidence of delayed pre-impact evasive maneuvers for the Toyota Camry,” the arrest report said.
That, coupled with nighttime conditions, “indicate grossly excessive speed with a reckless disregard for the safety of persons or property,” the report said.
A witness said she helped police get Edwards out of the car because it was on fire, according to the report. She said Edwards asked her to call his mother and she said “she smelled the odor of alcohol coming from his breath.”
She also said a man who identified himself as Edwards’ brother arrived at the scene of the crash looking for him and that man “stated they had just left the bar, but he did not say what bar,” the report said.
Police said in the report “a red plastic cup commonly referred to as a red Solo cup,” was in the car. But, the report said, “Due to the fire damage to the car, and efforts to extinguish the fire it was not possible to determine if, in fact, the cup had contained an alcoholic beverage.”
According to an Action News Jax source, Edwards was driving more than 100 mph with a blood alcohol level more than double the legal limit.
It comes as JSO prepares to crack down on drunk driving before the holidays.
“Also join me in sending thoughts and prayers to the deceased victim’s family, who have one less treasured person at the Thanksgiving table this year,” Waters said.
Action News Jax searched court records and found someone with the same name and birth date, according to a source, who got a citation for careless driving back in March. He was cited for “excessive speeds, cutting in and out of vehicles, and nearly hitting a marked patrol car.” That man also recently completed driver improvement school in June.
Waters said both the charges Edwards is facing are second-degree felonies and each carries a potential of 15 years in prison.
[SIGN UP: Action News Jax Daily Headlines Newsletter]
Waters said Edwards was not on duty at the time of the crash and was not driving a JSO vehicle.
“Never in my tenure with this agency has an officer been arrested for DUI manslaughter and vehicular homicide. And as your sheriff, as a person who has spent over half his life dedicated to this agency and this community, and as a human being, I’m devastated, naturally,” Waters said.
Waters said this is the eighth arrest of a JSO employee by JSO in 2023. Of those, this is the third DUI arrest of a JSO employee this year, Waters said.