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Teen Driver Hits Cop Car
by Thomas MacMillan | Aug 6, 2013 9:13 pm
A Cheshire teen ran a red light downtown Tuesday and crashed into a police cruiser, which then jumped a curb, knocked over a streetlight and smashed into a stone fence post on the Green.
The driver of the police cruiser, Officer Vincent DeLeo, was taken to the hospital with minor injuries. The 17-year-old driving the car that struck him, along with two other teens in the car, were unharmed.
That’s according to police spokesman Officer Dave Hartman. Here’s what he said happened:
At 7:37 p.m. Officer DeLeo was headed south on Temple Street. At the intersection with Elm Street, his car was struck by a Hyundai Elantra.
The Elantra had run a red light. The driver admitted running the light, Hartman said. The 17-year-old “tried to stop for the red light and then gave up on that attempt.” The teen was cited for running the light.
The airbag deployed in DeLeo’s cruiser. His head struck the windshield, drawing blood.
His police car was crumpled on the front passenger’s side, the point of impact with the Elantra. And the front of the car was destroyed by an impact with a stone fence post at the corner of the Green. The cruiser had also taken out a part of the iron fence and a light pole.
Hartman said the cruiser is likely totaled.
The front end of the Hyundai was also destroyed.
As he left the scene after speaking with police, the 17-year-old driver said he had “tried to brake.”
“He wasn’t wearing a seat belt,” the teen said of Officer DeLeo. “He hit me.”
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You missed an important question: How fast was the police car traveling?
The teen driver who slowed for the red light probably wasn’t going all that fast, but from the looks of the crash, it seemed that the police officer may have been.
Every day, I see police officers driving well over the speed limit, and running red lights, throughout New Haven. A number of them have been seriously injured or worse because of this in recent years.
On a separate note, this is exactly why so many cities have safety bollards. Several pedestrians could have been mowed down and killed by this crash. Happens all the time in New York City, which is also lacking bollards in some areas. In New Haven, the only place you see bollards is where the city has decided to protect the traffic signal equipment.
Hope that those involved in the crash make a speedy recovery.
If his head hit the windshield then he probably wasn’t wearing a seat belt. Let’s hope the officer is OK.
Somehow I doubt this teen was driving at or under the speed limit. Glad nobody got hurt even worse!
How is it that this teen was only cited with running a red light? No reckless endangerment? No battery or assault charge? No other charges? Was the cop just being nice or is that truly the only fine/punishment that could be meted out in this situation?
How fast were the cars going? It doesn’t seem like the kid tried to brake at all from the damage done here. Did the Hyundai knock the police car off course but it was going too fast to avoid crashing?
I am glad the officer was not seriously injured and am impressed the child did the right thing and admitted running the red light. I will be equally impressed if the NHPD does the right thing and cites its officer for not wearing his seat belt (it is pretty difficult to hit a Crown Vic’s windshield when the airbag deploys AND you are wearing a seat belt).
so the kid “tried to stop for the red light and then gave up on that attempt.” that tells you he’s going way too fast, but figured he could run the light like so many others choose to do. he’s lucky he’s able to walk away and make potshots at the cop, rather than facing vehicular manslaughter charges.
on that note, let’s flip the switch and turn on those red light cams already. the hell with your so-called rights—i’m sick of almost being taken out by some jerk running the light!!
Not sure but I do know that the Pope drives a Ford Focus.
Teens and cops. The two groups of people most likely to be speeding through red lights. It’s only surprising to me that this doesn’t happen more often.