A 48 year old law enforcement officer died from injuries suffered when his police car was struck in the side by another law enforcement vehicle while both were responding to a call regarding an escaped prisoner. The victim was travelling east on a county road, followed by a fellow officer, toward a destination where an escaped prisoner was reported to have been seen. As he approached the intersection of another county road an officer from another law enforcement agency, responding to the same call, was approaching on the second county road. Visibility was poor at that intersection due to darkness, weather conditions, a hill crest on the road the victim was driving, and a grove of trees at the intersection. A stop sign faced the second county road, giving the victim the right of way in routine traffic situations. The victim had been talking with his fellow officer by police radio and his location and direction were available to anyone who heard that communication. As the officer entered the intersection, he was struck by the law enforcement vehicle that was entering the intersection from the side road. The impact forced the victim's vehicle into a gas main and power pole to his right, just beyond the intersection. Law Enforcement personnel from the vehicle that struck the officer were first responders, pulling the victim from his vehicle and beginning CPR across the street from the vehicle. They also radioed in to have the gas shut off from the main that had been broken on impact, and that was emitting gas into the area creating the potential hazard of fire and explosion. The victim was taken to the hospital where he was pronounced dead. Employers may be able to minimize the potential for occurrence of this type of incident through the following precautions: 1. Maintain open inter-agency communication, particularly at times of potential crisis.
Region-8; Accident-analysis; Accident-prevention; Accidents; Injuries; Injury-prevention; Traumatic-injuries; Work-operations; Work-analysis; Work-areas; Work-performance; Work-practices; Safety-education; Safety-equipment; Safety-measures; Safety-monitoring; Drivers; Police-officers; Emergency-responders