It would be nice to think that highly trained professionals, such as police officers, never have accidents, however this is not the case. Even professional truck drivers who are seasoned veterans in a career dedicated to driving on public roads can and do get into traffic accidents involving drivers of cars, minivans and light trucks, even with motorcyclists who can be seriously injured as a result.
As a Baltimore car accident lawyer, I see news reports every week of motor vehicle accidents that injure or take the lives of innocent people. Pedestrians are not immune to these tragic collisions and can usually be hurt far more seriously than occupants of cars and trucks.
Not long ago, a postal employee and Washington, D.C., resident was hit by a police car driven by an off-duty patrolman. The accident occurred in Prince George’s County just after 6am on a Tuesday morning. According to reports, a county policeman was traveling to work along Garrett A. Morgan Boulevard when 62-year-old Ronald Burgess apparently attempted to cross the street near FedEx Field.
According to police reports, the pedestrian was outside the crosswalk area approximately 100 feet from the intersection and wearing dark work clothes when he was hit. Although an investigation was pending at the time of the crash, a police spokesman said that there was nothing to indicate that the patrolman was at fault.
Burgess was taken to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead at around 2pm in the afternoon. The daughter of the victim said she questioned the police account of the accident. She told a reporter that her father suffered “severe” injuries during the accident, which suggests to her that the police car might have been going over the 35mph speed limit on that stretch of road.
According to reports, the impact was not strong enough to cause the car’s airbags to deploy nor trigger the in-car camera or event-data recorder to automatically begin to operate. Police did say that the car’s grill was knocked loose and the driver’s side of the windshield was damaged — consistent with a slower-speed crash, according to police.
Postal worker hit by police cruiser in Pr. George’s dies, WashingtonPost.com, September 15, 2010