Officer bruised after wreck;

Published 12:00 am Friday, December 1, 2000

others hospitalized



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Staff Writers

Nov. 30, 2000 10 PM

A Troy Police officer involved in a two-car accident Wednesday night is suffering from only some soreness.

Chief Anthony Everage released information on the accident involving a patrol car that occurred at 6:05 p.m. on U.S. 231 North between County Road 105 and the Conecuh River.

Sgt. Ron Edwards of Troy, who has 20 years of police experience, "took a forceful blow from the impact," said Sgt. Benny Scarbrough, public information officer for the department.

Edwards is the assistant supervisor for second shift patrol.

According to the preliminary investigation, Edwards’ patrol car was struck while is was "stationary in the turn lane," Scarbrough said.

"This is the kind of thing you never can really ‘train’ or prepare for," Scarbrough said. "We go out to the firing range and shoot our weapons in case some rare situation comes up and we have to use them, but there’s no way to prepare for something like this."

Everage said he is relieved that his officer is not seriously injured.

"Obviously this is something that demonstrates the dangers of the job," Everage said. "While you think of officers being in danger when they’re in the line of fire, the fact is that they are on the roads a lot. When they are out like that watching out for public safety, sometimes the danger isn’t that they will be shot, but that something could happen on the streets or roads that could put them in jeopardy.

"We are relieved in this case that Sgt. Edwards is, for the most part, doing well," Everage said. "He’s bruised and battered, but he’s going to be OK."

Everage expressed concern for others who were injured.

"We always hope things like this will never happen, and for those who were injured and their families, we express our deepest sympathies," Everage said.

The accident report stated the 1989 Buick driven by Tony Peña, 18, of Montgomery, was traveling south on Highway 231 when it crossed the median and struck the patrol car.

Peña, both his passengers, along with Edwards were all transported to Edge Regional Medical Center.

Acosta Mericruz Perez, 23 and Henry Hernandez, 20, both of Montgomery suffered injuries in the accident, as did Peña. Hernandez’s injuries were more serious than the others.

Edwards was not hospitalized and will likely return to duty when he is scheduled to work this coming weekend. Thursday and Friday would have been Edwards’ regular off days.

Scarbrough said the extent of Edwards’ injuries was diminished dramatically due to his use of a seatbelt and the built-in air bags in the police vehicle.

"This is a classic example of how a seatbelt and the air bags may have saved an officer from being ejected from a vehicle through a glass windshield," Scarbrough said. "That would have caused substantial injuries to the officer."

The accident is still under investigation by the Troy Police Department, which is being assisted by the Alabama Department of Public Safety.