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Pennsylvania police officer dies in car accident

These blogs are posted on behalf of Seidel, Cohen, Hof & Reid, LLC, and do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of the firm or its attorneys. The information presented in this blog is for informational purposes only and is not intended to be legal advice.

A state is in mourning following the tragic death of a police officer on Dec. 12. The Pennsylvania officer, who had previously been a member of the United States military, died at the scene of a car accident on his way to respond to a call. Authorities have not charged the other driver involved in the accident at this time. 

The accident report states that the officer, a 35-year-old father, was heading south on Route 51 when the accident happened. The officer was running with his emergency lights and siren on at the time, though it is unclear at this juncture to what he was responding. As he sped down the road, an SUV inadvertently turned in front of his vehicle, forcing a collision. 

The police cruiser burst into flames, and despite efforts by bystanders to break the cruiser window and put the fire out with fire extinguishers, it was for naught. The officer was trapped unconscious in his cruiser and perished in the blaze. The 69-year-old SUV driver was pulling into work when the accident happened. He is in critical condition at a local hospital at this time. 

When a police officer is on an emergency call with lights and sirens engaged, Pennsylvania law dictates that other drivers yield the right-of-way to the officer. If the second driver in this car accident failed to do so, it is possible he may face criminal citations. In either event, the family of the deceased officer may choose to pursue a wrongful death suit against the driver in a civil court setting. 

This blog entry was posted on behalf of Seidel, Cohen, Hof & Reid, LLC, and does not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of the firm or its attorneys. The information presented in this blog is for informational purposes only and is not intended to be legal advice.

Source: wtae.com, "Perryopolis officer killed in Route 51 crash", Ashlie Hardway, Dec. 16, 2014

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