Two injured in crash involving police cruiser

A Perkins police cruiser collided with a car at Columbus Avenue and London Road Sunday afternoon, sending both vehicles reeling into a nearby yard.
Courtney Astolfi
Jul 15, 2013

 

Shortly before 3 p.m., Sgt. Jeff Musser was driving south on Columbus Avenue, following behind Mark Weikle, 50, of the 4800 block of Columbus Ave. Weikle slowed to turn into his driveway on the east side of the street, when Musser began to pass him in the northbound lane. Musser’s patrol SUV struck the driver’s side of Weikle’s Chevrolet Malibu, sending the vehicles off the road, in between two trees and into a neighboring lawn.

Witnesses said that once the vehicles came to a stop, Musser emerged from his cruiser, and checked on Weikle’s condition. He then dropped to his knees and clutched at his ribs, they said.
Troopers with the Ohio State Highway Patrol were quickly joined by Perkins police and fire departments at the scene of the accident.

Several witnesses said Musser’s lights and siren were activated when the crash happened, and a press release issued by the state highway patrol indicated the same. Weikle was not wearing his seatbelt when the collision occurred.

Both Weikle and Musser were taken to Firelands Regional Medical Center to be treated for their injuries. Weikle was still being evaluated for a possible broken leg on Sunday evening, according to the press release. A nursing supervisor said Musser was also still being evaluated at that time, but according to the press release, Musser was treated and released.

Troopers have not issued a citation to either man, and a reconstruction team is still investigating the crash.

 

Comments

Tool Box

Sounds like the officer has some explaining to do.

ladydye_5

Why would he???? The civilian did NOT yield to an EMERGENCY vehicle. The cop had his lights and siren on and the civilian TURNED INTO THE path of the emergency vehicle!

bnjjad

Lights and Sirens are on? Pretty sure the officer has nothing else to say. He has right of way. Not his fault that a civilian driver did not yield.

Tool Box

Pretty sure you don't know what you are talking about.

TheIrish

Here is the scenario.. Weikle was traveling South on Columbus Ave. about a mile south of the high school near the Rt. 2 overpass. Musser following Weikle in his Perkins SUV cruiser. Weikle begins to slow to turn into his driveway and engages left turn signal at which point Musser becomes agitated at the less than full speed limit traveling speed and flips on his lights and siren and steps on it attempting to pass Weikle who has already begun to turn into his driveway. Musser in his Perkins police SUV t-bones the citizens automobile, and then drives the t-boned citizens automobile approx. 20 yards sideways into a residential property (where children may have been playing) destroying the lawn and property. If anyone failed to yield, it was the impatient officer to a taxpaying citizen...

Tool Box

That's what I thought...

Erie County Resident

@ ladydye_5 and bnjjad you are assuming this is the case.
State law contradicts itself on this point.
1. As an emergency vehicle running lights & siren they are "requesting" the right-of-way. (Requesting but not required)
2. As a civilian you are suppose to yield to an emergency vehicle.
3. The only vehicle that has the total unrestricted right-of-way in the state of Ohio is a Federal USPS vehicle.
Doesn't make sense but that is what the law states.

Tool Box

And now let's see how transparent the investigation is!

bnjjad

Regardless whether it is law or not, it is common sense to yield to emergency vehicles. I cant stand it when I see people not doing this.

Now if what @TheIrish said is true, then yes the officer is accountable for trying to pass on the left with no emergency (wouldnt be the first time I have seen or heard of this happening) however nowhere in the register did it say anything about those events other than the lights and sirens were activated. Going on that information (even though SR is always biased and leaving stuff out) alone would have lead anybody to belive that the civilian was not yielding to the emergency vehicle correctly (you always go to the far right unless otherwise directed).

Funny how everyone is attacking the fact that if lights and sirens are on it is a choice on yielding. Proves my point that nobody cares for anybody else other than themselves, but yet are the first to say that they want to help and they feel sorry for people in emergency situations (when they are probably holding up first responders because they don't yield)

he said she said

@bnjjad: I wasn't there so I don't know what happened and didn't happen. All I know is that it is not required by law to pull over.

It also ticks me off to see people not pulling over!! Either they are in a car with the windows rolled up, the music blaring, or just don't care; I don't know which but when my dad was teaching me to drive, that was the first thing he taught me--when you see an ambulance, a fire truck, a police car or a funeral procession, pull over!!

Looking at the pic, I don't see the lights flashing on the police vehicle....just sayin.....

ladydye_5

Um...if you look at the post below...there IS a ORC that states IT IS required to YIELD the right of way to an emergency vehicle.

he said she said

ORC 4511.01 Traffic laws - operation of motor vehicles definitions.
(D) "Emergency vehicle" means emergency vehicles of municipal, township, or county departments or public utility corporations when identified as such as required by law, the director of public safety, or local authorities, and motor vehicles when commandeered by a police officer.

(E) "Public safety vehicle" means any of the following:

(1) Ambulances, including private ambulance companies under contract to a municipal corporation, township, or county, and private ambulances and nontransport vehicles bearing license plates issued under section 4503.49 of the Revised Code;

(2) Motor vehicles used by public law enforcement officers or other persons sworn to enforce the criminal and traffic laws of the state;

(3) Any motor vehicle when properly identified as required by the director of public safety, when used in response to fire emergency calls or to provide emergency medical service to ill or injured persons, and when operated by a duly qualified person who is a member of a volunteer rescue service or a volunteer fire department, and who is on duty pursuant to the rules or directives of that service. The state fire marshal shall be designated by the director of public safety as the certifying agency for all public safety vehicles described in division (E)(3) of this section.

(4) Vehicles used by fire departments, including motor vehicles when used by volunteer fire fighters responding to emergency calls in the fire department service when identified as required by the director of public safety.

Any vehicle used to transport or provide emergency medical service to an ill or injured person, when certified as a public safety vehicle, shall be considered a public safety vehicle when transporting an ill or injured person to a hospital regardless of whether such vehicle has already passed a hospital.

(5) Vehicles used by the motor carrier enforcement unit for the enforcement of orders and rules of the public utilities commission as specified in section 5503.34 of the Revised Code.

ORC 4511.03 Emergency vehicles at red signal or stop sign.
(A) The driver of any emergency vehicle or public safety vehicle, when responding to an emergency call, upon approaching a red or stop signal or any stop sign shall slow down as necessary for safety to traffic, but may proceed cautiously past such red or stop sign or signal with due regard for the safety of all persons using the street or highway.

ORC 4511.24 Speed limits not applicable to emergency or public safety vehicles.
The prima-facie speed limitations set forth in section 4511.21 of the Revised Code do not apply to emergency vehicles or public safety vehicles when they are responding to emergency calls and are equipped with and displaying at least one flashing, rotating, or oscillating light visible under normal atmospheric conditions from a distance of five hundred feet to the front of the vehicle and when the drivers thereof sound audible signals by bell, siren, or exhaust whistle. This section does not relieve the driver of an emergency vehicle or public safety vehicle from the duty to drive with due regard for the safety of all persons using the street or highway.

I was told by John Magnuson years ago that there is not a law on the books that drivers should yield to the right of way of emergency vehicles, it is considerate to do so but not required. I could not find a law in the ORC that states that either.

http://codes.ohio.gov/

ladydye_5

§ 4511.45 Right-of-way of public safety or coroner's vehicle.
Text of Statute
(A)(1) Upon the approach of a public safety vehicle equipped with at least one flashing, rotating or oscillating light
visible under normal atmospheric conditions from a distance of five hundred feet to the front of the vehicle and the
driver is giving an audible signal by siren, exhaust whistle, or bell, no driver of any other vehicle shall fail to yield
the right-of-way, immediately drive to a position parallel to, and as close as possible to, the right edge or curb of
the highway clear of any intersection, and stop and remain in that position until the public safety vehicle has
passed, except when otherwise directed by a police officer.

VOTENO

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candleburner

I would think the easiest to prove first is whether or not there was an emergency call placed with the officer that required him to have to activate his lights and siren and to pass the other car. If there was, then I would say he's within his rights to have passed him though he should have tried to make sure he had clearance, that would have been the logical thing to do. Without a call to have to go to, yeah he's got a lot of explaining to do but then again the other driver wasn't wearing a seatbelt and it doesn't mean squat that he was turning into his driveway. He should have had it on until his car was in park and the engine off and he was ready to get out of the car. Either way though there's some questions that need answered!!!

ClassicPatrick

Why does the story leave out the fact that the sirens and lights were "activated" in the first paragraph?? It would seem more appropriate to tell the story as

Shortly before 3 p.m., Sgt. Jeff Musser was driving south on Columbus Avenue WITH LIGHTS AND SIREN ACTIVATED, APPROACHING Mark Weikle, 50, of the 4800 block of Columbus Ave FROM THE REAR. Weikle FAILED TO YEILD TO OFFICER AND CONTINED TO to turn into his driveway on the east side of the street, when Musser began to pass him in the northbound lane. Musser’s patrol SUV struck the driver’s side of Weikle’s Chevrolet Malibu, sending the vehicles off the road, in between two trees and into a neighboring lawn.

The original story makes sound like its the officers fault, but then there is a TWIST in the story when "Several" witnesses say otherwise.. Where there only "several" because others said that the officer in fact did not have his lights and sirens "activated" prior to attempting to pass??

ClassicPatrick

Also, Why did the officer not leave his lights "activated" after the crash? the picture shows that they are not on.. I mean, I have seen plenty of officers leave lights activated even after a car has pulled away from them after traffic stops...