CHARLESTON, W.Va. — An elderly Charleston woman is hospitalized after her car was struck by a Charleston Police Department cruiser Wednesday morning, Police Chief Brent Webster said.
The officer driving the cruiser was responding to an emergency call but did not have his cruiser’s lights or siren on, Webster said.
“The officer was traveling without lights and siren and he was exceeding the speed limit,” Webster said during an appearance Thursday morning on 580 Live hosted by Charleston Mayor Danny Jones on 580-WCHS.
Webster said the officer was responding to a burglary call in Orchard Manor. The crash occurred near the intersection of West Washington Street and Maryland Ave. at about 10:10 a.m.
The police department has been in contact with the woman’s family. She was seriously injured, Webster said.
“When she first went (to the hospital) we had an officer who spoke with her and it appeared early on that she was just shaken up, but these crashes like this, even with the officer, he wasn’t suggesting that he had been injured. But once they got in and started being observed and evaluated, both have injuries. Her injuries are more serious that his,” Webster said.
The police officer was released from the hospital and is off work.
Investigators are beginning to review the cruiser’s recording device for more information, Webster said.
“We have highly-trained accident reconstructionists and there’s a lot we can do,” he said. “There’s a lot we have done but this black box device pretty much eliminates any margin for error. That’s what we hope anyway. Our guys on working on that now.”
Webster said officers were responding to a “priority call.” A man was allegedly trying to break into an apartment at Orchard Manor and he was armed with a knife.
In October 2005, Charleston officer Brandon Tagayun was responding to a call at the Kanawha Mall, when he t-boned Patsy Sizemore’s car, killing her and injuring her husband.
Tagayun resigned before pleading guilty in March 2007 to misdemeanor charges of speeding and failure to use lights and siren.