Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Deputy injured when cruiser strikes tree at shopping center

By Charles McChesney, The Post-Standard

An Onondaga County Sheriff’s deputy was injured Wednesday night when his car became airborne and struck a tree at the entrance to Fayetteville Towne Center.
Deputy David Redhead's injuries appeared to be non-life-threatening, said Sheriff Kevin Walsh, who arrived at the scene shortly after the crash.
He said Redhead was traveling east on East Genesee Street, “code red, with lights and siren,” responding to a report of an officer in need of assistance nearby involving an attempted arrest and a pit bull.
About 8:45, at the entrance to the shopping center, the cruiser came up behind a car driven by Sarah Meile, 19, of Jamesville. Redhead's cruiser struck Meile's car, sending the cruiser across the westbound lanes, over a curb and into the air.
The cruiser struck the tree, splintering its trunk about 4 feet above the ground, witnesses said.
Parts of the cruiser were tossed more than a dozen feet by the impact, some landing in the parking lot of the McDonald’s, witnesses said.
Stan Dhas, of Jamesville, said he was in line at the restaurant’s take-out window. He was about to call 911 to report the crash when he realized people all around him were doing so. Other people, including Meile, were hurrying to Redhead's aid, Dhas said.
Redhead was taken by Fayetteville Ambulance to Crouse Hospital. The heavily damaged cruiser remained while a county accident reconstruction team worked at the scene.
Meile suffered a bump to the head, said Walsh, but she declined medical care.
Walsh said other deputies were able to respond to the original incident, an arrest was made and the pit bull taken by an animal control officer.
Contact Charles McChesney at cmcchesney@syracuse.com.

Update July 21, 2010 9:22pm - The following article is from WSYR:

Sheriff Deputy's vehicle crashes into tree near Towne Center

An Onondaga County Sheriff's Deputy was en route to assist Manlius Police when he was involved in a crash which resulted in his vehicle hitting a tree outside Towne Center in Fayetteville. The deputy suffered a non-life threatening head injury.

The Sheriff's Department says that Deputy David Redhead, 27, was heading eastbound on East Genesee Street (Route 5) to serve as backup for Manlius Police at 150 North Burdick Street where there had been an animal complaint and someone was resisting arrest. Deputy Redhead was using his lights and sirens.

While he approached the entrance to Towne Center, he attempted to pass a 1998 Mercury Marquis. The woman driving the Marquis was also headed eastbound and began making a lefthand turn onto Towne Drive when Deputy Redhead's patrol car hit the driver's side of the car.

After that impact, Deputy Redhead lost control of his vehicle, hit the curb and became airborne. The patrol car came to a rest after hitting a tree head-on.

Several witnesses, including the driver of the Marquis, rushed to assist Deputy Redhead and called for emergency responders.

Onondaga County 911 dispatched multiple rescue teams to the crash around 8:48 p.m.

A man was arrested in relation to the animal complaint, though it involved a Rottweiler and not a Pit-Bull as previously reported.

Manlius Police say the Rottweiler was wandering in the yard of a house at 150 North Burdick Street and the resident had called police to complain. The dog reportedly belonged to someone visiting the neighbor at 152 North Burdick.

When Manlius Police arrived, they tried to arrest the dog's owner because he had allegedly started an altercation with the man who called police. Police called for backup from the County Sheriff's office because he resisted arrest.

County Sheriff Kevin Walsh says the incident was significant enough to require the deputy to assist Manlius police. "The nature of that response needed him to be going to be going at a reasonable rate of speed, probably in excess of the speed limit, but we won't know yet and won't know that until we've taken some measurements and taken the full accident investigation," the Sheriff said.

Deputy Redhead is being treated at Crouse Hospital.

The Sheriff's Accident Reconstruction team is working to complete an investigation into this accident. Stay with 9WSYR.com for more updates.

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