Members of the law enforcement community travel the roadways every day to keep residents of their communities safe. That does not make them immune to the same issues that befall the people they are supposed to protect however.
In the early morning hours of July 5, two State Police troopers were traveling through Fairview Township. The trooper who was driving a Ford Explorer patrol vehicle allegedly drove through a stop sign at the intersection of Route 98 and Sterrettania Road. A Suzuki traveling north on Route 98 struck the trooper's vehicle as it drove through the intersection.
The coroner pronounced the woman who was driving the Suzuki dead at the scene of the crash. The two troopers had to be cut out of their vehicle. Both were transported to a local hospital and were said to be suffering from moderate injuries as a result of the collision.
Both vehicles were taken to Troop E headquarters for processing, and an accident reconstruction specialist was charged with processing the site of the incident. The woman's body was scheduled to undergo an autopsy, which is standard protocol for any death where a public servant is involved.
The accident investigation into this unfortunate event is ongoing. The video camera in the trooper's car was recording at the time of the crash, and law enforcement is using that and computer data from both vehicles to see if they can get more information on the cause of the incident. They are also checking the trooper's phone records to see if he might have been texting or talking on the phone, which may have contributed to the cause of the crash.
In cases where an accident or vehicle death is caused by the failure or negligence of another driver, families have a right to seek compensation against the at-fault driver. Despite the grief and shock of such a situation, families or survivors should evaluate their options for legal action.
Source: Erie Times-News, "State police involved in fatal collision in Fairview," July 6, 2014
Erie Times-News, "DA: State police meeting 'every requirement' in fatal crash investigation," Sean McCracken, July 7, 2014