The Board of County Commissioners chose to settle a dispute through mediation regarding a vehicle versus bicycle accident involving a county vehicle.



Santa Rosa County opted to settle an accident claim for $125,000 instead of proceeding to trial, said Santa Rosa County Human Resources Director DeVann Cook.



"The woman that was injured had quite a large medical expense," Cook said. "It was in our best interest to settle on the case."



The original incident occurred Dec. 28, 2011, when Ora Nelson, crew leader with the Santa Rosa County Parks Department, was traveling westbound on Highway 90, turning south onto Floridatown Road, according to a Florida Highway Patrol report.



Laura Brady was on a bicycle, approaching from the opposite direction on Highway 90 in the bicycle lane. Nelson, driving a 1996 white Ford pickup owned by the county, turned in front of the cyclist and Brady ran into the side of the truck.



Brady suffered "incapacitating" injuries as a result of the accident, according to the report. She was transported to Sacred Heart hospital via Lifeguard Ambulance Services.



Nelson was found to be at fault for failing to yield the right of way, according to FHP.



The human resources director said Nelson was verbally reprimanded for the incident, in 2011. Following county procedure, Nelson was tested for drugs and passed without issue. He noted that Nelson was "shaken up" about the accident.



"We do suspend people," Cook said. "We have terminated employees, if found to have exercised absolute carelessness. Most things, we follow progressive discipline."



The director said Nelson has been an employee with Santa Rosa County since the 1990s and has been an excellent part of the organization, with no marks on file.