Photo courtesy of Hingham Police
A Hingham police officer sufferd a minor injury and his cruiser was totaled after a 71-year-old slammed his car into the parked cruiser on Thursday afternoon, police said.
According to Hingham Police, Traffic Officer Daniel Leary was making a traffic stop of a vehicle on Lincoln Street near the Fottler Road intersection at 4:38 p.m..
Both the violator’s vehicle – a 2009 Hyundai Sonata, and the cruiser, a 2011 Ford Crown Victoria, were parked in the right lane of the road. After speaking with the violator, the officer returned to his cruiser to issue a citation.
At that time, a 2000 Chrysler Sebring, traveling east on Lincoln Street in the right lane, crashed into the rear of the cruiser, police said.
The impact pushed the cruiser into the rear of the stopped Hyundai, injuring both the officer and the suspect. Airbags were deployed in both cars, which were totaled. The driver of the Hyundai was not injured, police said.
The officer was transported to Quincy Medical Center and the suspect, a 71-year-old from Hull, was transported to South Shore Hospital, police said.
Both men were treated and released.
Police said that a witness reported that she had been traveling behind the Chrysler on Route 3A through Quincy and Weymouth, and that the driver was “all over the road.” The witness did not call to report the behavior before the crash.
According to Hingham Police, however, neither alcohol nor drugs were involved in the crash.
The suspect told officers that as he approached the stopped cruiser with its emergency lights on, he went to hit the brake; instead, he hit the gas pedal.
David J. Collins, 71, from Hull was subsequently cited for Operating Negligently to Endanger, and Making an Unsafe Lane Change. He will appear in Hingham District Court at a later date on the charges.
Police have also filed an immediate threat request for license suspension with the Registry of Motor Vehicles.
According to Hingham Police, though the cruiser was totaled and the officer received minor injury, this incident could have been much worse.
“This could have been a fatal or serious injury if the officer had been beside, stepping in or climbing out of the cruiser as he was struck. He was lucky,” said Police Sgt. Steven Dearth.