“Please slow down,” said Police Chief Charlie Weir, in response the destruction of the city’s older police patrol car Sunday night. “In dangerous conditions, people need to remember to take care and drive for the conditions.”
Officer Michael Samoray was assisting the State Police in responding to a traffic accident had included some mild personal injuries, but no one was seriously hurt. Officers were clearing the scene and taking reports, and Officer Samoray had positioned himself to the west of the accident at Hughes and M-34 to help direct traffic. The patrol car was positioned broad-side to oncoming traffic, with traffic cones and flashers to help bring attention to the obstruction of traffic. It was dark and the road was icy, with limited visibility.
Samoray reported that after having successfully detoured 75 cars around the accident, a car came up on the scene too fast and hit several of the cones. Samoray stopped the vehicle and issued a citation for reckless driving. As the officer was doing that, another car slowed to turn. The vehicle behind them, a pick-up truck, was moving too fast and began to fish-tail, came up onto the curb, and slammed head-on into the patrol car. The driver was cited for driving too fast for conditions.
Regarding the incident, Police Chief Weir said that he hoped motorists will remember to take it easy when conditions are unfavorable. “Road conditions as they are, you just need to be more careful,” he advised.
City Manager Steve Hartsel said that the city is waiting on a determination of the repair costs and if the car itself is totaled. “The car is a 2006, and it has severe damage to the steering and suspension. It’ll be very expensive to repair but, but luckily we had already budgeted last year to replace the vehicle. This may just expedite that process.”