Sunday, July 09, 2006

Squad car crashes into tree, but only after being rammed by an SUV

On Friday NBC reported a car crash involving a 24th District police squad car. They reported there was a crash, officers were injured, and basically nothing more. My first question was - how did they do that? As their story is copyrighted material and cannot be republished without permission, I will provide the link to the original story. The highlight is in red. NBC story

A Chicago Police Department squad car crashed into a tree Friday in Rogers Park, injuring two officers inside and two other people.

Here is what I found out about the crash. It took 10 minutes.

On Friday afternoon a 24th District police car was struck near the intersection of Campbell and Rosemont. The impact of the crash sent the squad car careening into a tree and a nearby house.

Police sources say the accident occurred when a 27 year old woman, driving a Chevy Suburban at a high rate of speed, blew the stop sign and crashed into the driver’s side of the police car.

The two officers, both in serious condition were transported to area hospitals. They are expected to recover.

The owner of the vehicle, who was riding in the passenger’s seat, told police they were traveling at a high rate of speed because someone he knew to be a Latin King pointed a gun at them from another vehicle. He recognized one and gave police his name.

Though the story may be true, the owner was given a ticket for letting an unauthorized person drive his car. The driver did not have a driver’s license.

She was cited for failure to stop at a stop sign, failure to reduce speed at an intersection, and failure to properly restrain her 3 year old child who was in the back seat protected only by a seat belt. The child was uninjured.

I felt a lot better about the story after I found out what happened. Not only did it make more sense, but it reveals an important lesson to be be learned.

Don't let other people drive your car, especially if they don't have a driver's license and insurance. This guy's financial future is gone. Between the squad car, the owner of the house that was damaged as well as his own personal vehicle, this guy may as well file for bankruptcy now.

The other issue it brings up is just how vulnerable are we to being threatened with people who have weapons in their cars. Did they randomly threaten this guy, was it a personal beef, or was he also in a gang?

I think NBC, by not waiting to get the whole story, blew a much better one.


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