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Northern Regional Police Officer Taken to Hospital After Driver Strikes Cruiser

The officer was checked over for neck and back issues before being released.

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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Evelyn Reynolds May 10, 2013 at 11:13 AM
I was born and raised in Gibsonia. I know Gibson road well and there are some places that have "blind spots." I understand the officer had his lights flashing but from what distance could the driver have seen them? I also understand that the driver was in excess of the speed limit and had been distracted, but the important thing is the officer is unharmed and I assume the driver and the person who was stopped also were unharmed. I hope that this wasnt in one of the blind spots I previously mentioned.

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