Sunday, Mar 9, 2014
Two Crashes Land Ina's Police Cars in the Shop
INA -- The streets of Ina were without their own patrolmen Wednesday morning after two different accidents sent the police department's only two cars to the body shop.
Tuesday's wintry weather caused multiple accidents along Interstate 57, including three in Jefferson County.
That string of accidents happened around 8 p.m. near mile marker 81. State police called Ina for help with a semi rollover. Shortly after the Ina police officer left his car, a second semi crashed into the back of the squad car. That accident took out the department's last patrol car.
"When you think it can't no worse, it seems like it does," said Ina Police Chief Travis Allen. "When it rains, it pours, you know?"
It's the last call Allen expected that night. "We'd just joked about it in the office. I said, this is our last car, you know, be careful and he said oh yeah we will," he explained.
Witnesses say the officer had gotten out of his squad car to check on the semi driver, when another semi slid across interstate 57, and drove over the trunk of his car.
"We are just thankful the officer was out of the squad car and no one was injured. The truck driver was not injured," Allen added.
Allen says the officer, who declined to be interviewed, is pretty torn up. It's his third accident in the last two months and Allen insists none of them were his fault.
"One was a deer run out in front of him, the other one, he was struck in the rear end by an ambulance, and now he was hit by a semi," Allen said.
Wednesday the small department worked with insurance and local communities to find a temporary squad car.
"We can't just sit here and twiddle our thumbs. We're going to do what we have to do to get another squad car up and running and get back to patrolling," Allen said.
State police and the Jefferson County Sheriff's Office volunteered to cover Ina, until the department could get back on the road. Late Wednesday afternoon, Ewing police agreed to loan Ina a vehicle.
The police department is still waiting on damage estimates. The semi driver was charged with driving too fast for conditions and failure to yield to an emergency vehicle.
Wind: 0 MPH
Humidity: 93 %