LA VERGNE, Tenn. (WKRN) — Questions have been raised about what caused a La Vergne police officer to crash while on the job.
It happened around 5 p.m. Wednesday at the intersection of Murfreesboro Road and Stones River Road in La Vergne.
According to the crash report, the officer told investigators, “By the time he realized the other vehicles were stopped and slammed on the breaks, it was too late.” Smyrna police, an outside agency, investigated the crash.
The report said the officer crashed into an SUV stopped at a red light, and that driver then hit another SUV. “If there is anything that’s above a minor crash or any other angle or incident that can be thrown in there then we will contact an outside agency to come in and do the crash report it’s just to have an unbiased, unattached agency come in and take care of that,” said La Vergne Police Officer John Fesmire.
He said the officer involved in the crash is a seven-year veteran of the department.
Officer Fesmire said the officer was on routine patrol, he was not responding to a call. The crash was captured on dashcam video on the officer’s patrol vehicle.
After the crash, the camera was knocked loose and nothing can be seen but you can hear what happens next. A witness asked the officer, “You can call it in, or do I need to call 9-1-1?”
The officer responded, “I got it.”
It took fire and EMS about four minutes to arrive after the officer contacted police on his radio. Now his police vehicle is severely damaged.
News 2 spoke with the woman who was directly in front of the officer. She said her son drove her to the hospital because she had back pain. She is home from work and on pain medication but should make a full recovery.
The report said the driver in front of her was injured too. “As a juvenile, the parents were talked to on the phone, they weren’t able to get here in time so at their request the juvenile went by EMS to a hospital,” said Officer Fesmire.
He said supervisors are looking into why the officer didn’t notice the cars stopped at the red light until the last minute. When News 2 asked Officer Fesmire if the officer ever faced disciplinary action before he answered, “Not to my knowledge, he has not.”
The officer was also hospitalized for minor injuries. Officer Fesmire said the officer was sore but came back to work Thursday.