Careless Drivers Crash Into Police Cars

By Peter Neumann

January 28, 2011 Updated Jan 28, 2011 at 2:15 PM EDT

Kosciusko County, Ind. (Indiana's NewsCenter) - The cruisers had their emergency flasher lights activated, but even that wasn't enough to keep them from getting hit.

Here's the press release from the Kosciusko County Sheriff's Department:

"A difficult night for police cars in Kosciusko County as two separate crashes damage area squad cars.

The first crash occurred last evening along U.S. 30 near the intersection of State Road 19 at approximately 7:48 p.m. Kosciusko County Sheriff’s Deputy Shawn Castillo was at the scene a slide-off crash along the shoulder of U.S. 30 and had his fully-marked squad car protecting a wrecker as it retrieving the vehicle. A semi tractor-trailer driven by Harold D. Butcher, 56, Grand Rapids, Michigan, approached westbound and had not braked for slower traffic. Butcher attempted to swerved and “side-swiped” the driver’s side of the sheriff vehicle. The driver and passenger from the slide off crash were inside of Deputy Castillo’s vehicle but were uninjured. Deputy Castillo was outside of the squad car assisting the wrecker driver with traffic and was also uninjured.

The second crash occurred at 2:38 this morning on State Road 13, approximately ¼ mile south of Syracuse. Kosciusko County Sheriff Corporal Kevin Gelbaugh had responded to a report of horses in the roadway. Syracuse Police officer Joe Denton had parked his fully marked squad car in the southbound lane of State Road 13 and was outside of the vehicle assisting Corporal Gelbaugh. A southbound vehicle driven by Rosetta M. Ritchie, 48, Syracuse, crashed directly into the rear of Officer Denton’s squad car, destroying both vehicles. Ritchie was taken to Kosciusko Community Hospital with minor injuries, but provided a portable breath test result of .20% at the scene. Officers are awaiting legal blood test results that will be forwarded to the Kosciusko County Prosecutor’s Office for possible further charges.

During both crashes, officers had all police lighting illuminated at the time of the incidents."

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