Probe into crash of two Aberdeen police cars to take weeksTwo officers were responding to a call for help from another officer who was chasing an assault suspect on foot about 4 a.m. Sunday. The cars they were driving collided at an intersection. Vehicle speeds have not been released.
ABERDEEN (AP) — An investigation into a crash involving two police cars in Aberdeen could take up to three weeks, according to the South Dakota Highway Patrol.
The patrol will interview the officers involved, an intern who was riding in one of the vehicles and witnesses who were at the scene, Sgt. Caleb Walters told the media.
Officers Mark Miller, 27, and Alejandro Reyes, 28, were responding to a call for help from another officer who was chasing an assault suspect on foot about 4 a.m. Sunday. The cars they were driving collided at an intersection, sending them and the intern to the hospital. None suffered life-threatening injuries.
"The two officers responding to that call came from different directions," Police Chief Don Lanpher Jr. told the City Council Monday night. "Based on that, it was not a vehicle pursuit. They were responding to assistance from an officer."
The speed of the officers' vehicles was not immediately determined. It also was not clear if the vehicles had their sirens or flashing lights on, though Lanpher said officers in such a situation are not obligated to turn them on because it might alert a suspect.
The cars crashed into one another and then into an apartment complex. A tree also was snapped in half. Building owner Pat Preston said none of the 10 apartment units was damaged, nor was the building's foundation. He said he is seeking estimates for repair work to the building's porch.
Ashley Elliott, the 21-year-old intern who suffered a broken collar bone and cracked ribs in the crash, will recuperate for about a week before resuming classes at Northern State University, said her mother, Elaine Elliott of Enumclaw, Wash.
"She told me that is was just an accident," said Elaine Elliott, who flew to Aberdeen on Sunday to be with her daughter. "The police were just doing their job. Sometimes things just happen.
"My daughter wants to work in law enforcement," she said. "She is looking forward to getting healthy and returning to the internship."
Lanpher said the ride-along with officers is part of the internship course.