Ann Arbor officers released from hospital after crash with minor injuries
Melanie Maxwell | AnnArbor.com
- Previous story: Ann Arbor police officers injured in crash on way to shooting
A 29-year-old Ohio woman who was involved in a crash with an Ann Arbor police car is expected to be released from St. Joseph Mercy Hospital Thursday night, as are both officers.
“They’re doing good,” said Sgt. Paul Curtis of the Ann Arbor Police Department about the officers.
Police are not releasing the identity of the female driver or the officers.
The police car crashed into the woman's vehicle on Ellsworth Road near State Street around 1 p.m. Thursday. The officers were en route to a shooting on the 700 block of North Maple.
Curtis said it’s common practice for police officers to respond to high emergency calls like shootings and missing children no matter where they happen to be at the time, as long as they’re not attending to another matter.
“If you want to call yourself a police officer in this city and there’s a shooting, you go,” Curtis said. “If they didn’t go, I would have been disappointed.”
Both officers are SWAT-trained, Curtis pointed out, and officers with that kind of training could be of much help at shooting scenes. Other responding units are also dispatched to the scene in case they can be of help intercepting a fleeing suspect or suspects, Curtis added.
In the case of a high emergency incident, a patrol car will cease heading to the scene only if the officers receive word that further help is not needed.
Both vehicles were westbound at the time of the crash. The lights and sirens were operating on the police car, and the other vehicles in the westbound lane had slowed down and pulled off the road. The officer driving the police car was attempting to pass these cars when it struck the woman’s car on the driver’s side while she was making a left-hand turn into Zippy Auto Wash.
The two vehicles ended up in a culvert, which was a good distance away from the road, according to Curtis.
“That patrol car was up in the air,” he said.
Matt Kasman was in the office of Zippy Auto Wash, where he is an assistant manager, when the accident occurred.
One of his co-workers came into his office and told him about the accident, Kasman said, so they both ran out. The two vehicles were in the culvert and there were about five or six cars slowly moving west by the accident.
“I was pretty shocked,” Kasman said, adding that the police car had “hit the front left of her car.”
The officer driving the vehicle emerged from the patrol car and used the radio on his shoulder to call for help, said Kasman, who assumed the officer wasn’t injured too severely.
Kasman said the officer in the passenger seat remained in the vehicle, leading Kasman to believe he was the more injured of the two.
An Ann Arbor Police Department SUV arrived, followed by an ambulance soon after.
Accidents are not infrequent at that particular spot, according to Kasman. In the past few months, there have been three accidents in the same general area, all of them involving people trying to make a left-hand turn into the car wash, he said.
There is currently no left-hand turn lane at the car wash entrance.
“The turning lane is a problem,” Kasman said.