The public relies on police officers to respond quickly to their calls for help when an emergency strikes. However, should the responding officers become involved in a car accident themselves, police are left with not one, but two emergencies on their hands.
Recently, a collision between a pick-up truck and a police cruiser in West Bridgewater sent the officer to the hospital via MedFlight with head and chest injuries. The driver of the pick-up truck was unharmed. The accident allegedly occurred when the officer was responding to another call. The officer was traveling southbound behind the pick-up truck, but when the pick-up truck began to make a left-hand turn, the police car attempted to pass the truck. Unfortunately, the police car ended up striking the left side of the pick-up truck. The force of the impact utterly destroyed the font end of the police car was and nearly severed the vehicle’s front wheel.
Incidents like this illustrate how essential it is for drivers to be aware of police cars in their vicinity, and vice versa. Drivers are under a legal obligation to drive reasonably under the circumstances. Part of this duty is to pull over when a police car is driving with its lights and sirens on. There are instances when officers responding to an emergency have the right of way. Although police officers still must exercise caution in these situations, it may become necessary for an officer to change lanes often, drive at a high rate of speed or even drive through a red light or stop sign. Other drivers on the road need to accommodate for this. Even a slight delay in responding to police sirens could lead to an accident that causes further damage and serious injuries. Likewise, responding officers also must take care not to drive recklessly, even in the state of an emergency.
Fortunately, the officer involved in this recent crash will recover from his injuries. But this incident serves as a stern reminder for drivers to take care when sharing the road with police cars on active duty.
Source: enterprisenews.com, “West Bridgewater police sergeant survives gruesome crash,” Amy Carboneau, March 27, 2013