A Northern Regional Police officer was taken to UPMC Passavant in McCandless Monday morning after a driver struck his parked cruiser in Richland Township.
Police Chief Robert T. Amann said the officer was checked over for neck and back issues before being released from the hospital. The other driver was not injured.
Amann said the officer was stopped on Gibson Road just over the Hampton Township border after pulling over a female driver for a traffic violation when another driver, failing to see the police cruiser ahead of him, plowed into the back of the car.
“My officer was in the car writing some information down on the driver that he had stopped, at which time he was struck from behind by a vehicle traveling in the same direction,” Amann said.
Hampton Police have charged 19-year-old Bradley Eckendahl, of Richland Township, with careless driving in the incident, Amann said.
The chief said Eckendahl told investigators he was distracted because of papers that were blowing around in his vehicle while he was driving and did not see the cruiser stopped in front of him.
Amann said the officer did have the lights flashing on the parked police vehicle.
Amann said the cruiser sustained significant damage. The impact from the collision also pushed the police vehicle into the back of the car that was pulled over for the original traffic stop, causing minor damage.
Police estimate Eckendahl was driving well in excess of the road’s posted 25 mph speed limit when he hit the cruiser, Amann said.
“He struck it with some force,” he said.
The chief said the police cruiser is out of service until it can be repaired.
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