Ofc. John O'Brien, PIO
Thursday, October 31, 2019 at 2:15 p.m.
A Spokane Police Officer was injured this morning after his vehicle was struck from behind by a driver distracted with their cell phone.
This morning around 7:30 a.m., a Spokane Police Officer was stopped on Trent Avenue at Waterworks Street behind a van. Both the officer and the van driver were waiting for west bound traffic to clear in order to turn north onto Waterworks Street.
The officer looked in his rearview mirror and saw a vehicle approaching very quickly. The officer knew the car wouldn’t be able to stop but he was not able to move. The distracted driver struck the back of the officer’s patrol car pushing it forward into the van. The patrol car appears to be totaled and there is significant damage to the at-fault driver’s vehicle.
The at-fault driver appeared to be distracted by her cell phone. When interviewed, the driver said she was looking at her GPS at the time of the collision. Impairment did not appear to be a factor in this collision.
The officer was transported to an area hospital for treatment for back and neck pain. He has since been released.
The at-fault driver was cited for RCW46.61.145 Following Too Close, RCW46.61.672 Cell Phone Device Distraction and RCW46.30.020 Liability Insurance Required.
Texting or looking at your cell phone is a complex task that requires concentration. While driving, your concentration should be focused on the roadway ahead of you and other drivers around you. Even a momentary distraction away from driving can create a dangerous situation. A vehicle traveling at 30 mph will cover the distance of an average size residential city lot in one second. Add in the time it takes a person to recognize a hazard, then react to that hazard, and it all adds up to potential tragic but avoidable consequences.
Officer John O'Brien