PA officer hurt in crash

Discussion in 'Cop Talk' started by Panzergrenadier1979, Mar 13, 2010.

  1. Panzergrenadier1979

    Panzergrenadier1979 Keystone Cop

    Likes Received:
    Jan 16, 2009
    Central Pennsylvania
    Prayers to him and his family.

    An Eastern Adams County Regional Police officer was badly hurt early Thursday morning when his cruiser crashed into a tractor-trailer at the Cross Keys intersection of Route 30 and 94 in Berwick Township, Adams County, state police said.
    Officer Richard H. Phillips, 40, was flown to York Hospital by medical helicopter, police said. His condition could not be obtained Thursday afternoon, but state police said Phillips suffered a "major" injury.
    Eastern Adams Regional Police Chief Robert Then declined comment through a department receptionist.
    State police, who are investigating, said Phillips was eastbound on Route 30 at 12:04 a.m. when his marked cruiser struck the rear axle of the rig's trailer. The tractor-trailer was northbound on Route 94 and was going through the intersection when the crash happened, police said.
    The truck driver, Robert D. Pyles, 61, of Neelyton, Huntingdon County, was not hurt, police said. He was driving a truck for H.M. Kelly Inc., of New Oxford, a witness said.
    State police said the investigation continues and that no other details would be released until they could be confirmed. Police did not address witness reports that the officer was pursuing a vehicle when the crash occurred.
    Diane Stambaugh of Abbottstown was outside the Cross Keys Diner, where she works, and saw the crash.
    Fleeing car: She said Phillips' cruiser was pursuing a small, dark-colored sporty-looking car that was fleeing at a high rate of speed. The car made it through the intersection and kept going, she said.
    Stambaugh estimated the fleeing car was going 80 to 90 mph; she said the cruiser was also traveling fast, but not as fast as the car.
    "I was out front and the (fleeing) car came traveling east on Route 30 at an extreme rate of speed. That's what caught my eye," she said. "I didn't think he was being pursued at first. But then out of the corner of my eye, I caught the (emergency) lights of the cruiser. ... I saw the police cruiser hit the back end of the truck."
    The cruiser burst into flames, Stambaugh said, and she ran inside and called 911.
    "It was horrible. When he hit that truck, I can't even explain the noise that it made," she said. "It was like a scene you see in a movie. It was surreal."
    Truckers take action: After calling 911, Stambaugh ran back outside, where other nearby tractor-trailer drivers had already grabbed fire extinguishers to attack the blaze, she said.
    "They put out the fire, thank God," she said. "I yelled through the window at him, but he was unresponsive. I yelled to him that help was on the way, to just hang in there."
    Stambaugh said Phillips was unconscious, his breathing erratic. She said she spent many years as an X-ray technician and "saw my fair share" of trauma patients.
    She said the truckers who'd rushed over to help were unable to open the cruiser's front doors. Police and fire/rescue crews got to the scene quickly, she said.
    "There were so many firemen working on the car to get it apart, to get him out of there," Stambaugh said. "It took a long time."
    'Hang on': Police officers kept telling Phillips to hang on, to hang in there, she said.
    Meanwhile, the crash had traffic snarled.
    "There was so much debris all over the road that it stopped traffic," Stambaugh said.
    Stambaugh said that in hindsight, she wishes she would have paid more attention to the fleeing car. But she said it happened so quickly, she simply didn't have time. Plus, it was dark out, she said.
    Stambaugh noted that the fleeing driver will have to live with the knowledge of what he's done.
    "(Phillips) was just out there doing his job," she said. "I hope he makes it. But even if he does, he's going to have a hard road ahead of him."
  2. Patchman

    Patchman Florist

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    Jul 29, 2008
    Land of Flora, Fauna & Merriweather
    Dash cam on the police car?

    Prayers to a quick and full recovery.