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City officer, motorist injured in collision

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By Chris Sardelli

Two motorists, one a Lancaster Police Department officer, are recovering from injuries after their vehicles collided in a city intersection Thursday afternoon, Oct. 11.

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Emergency responders swarmed the scene at the intersection of North Wylie and West Barr streets just after 3 p.m., where a gold Chrysler Town & Country minivan and black Lancaster Police Department patrol car crashed into each other only minutes earlier.

The collision sent the Chrysler toppling onto its roof, forcing firefighters to brace one side of the minivan as they pried its doors off to reach the driver inside. Officers also evacuated the area near the crash after gas was reported to be leaking from the minivan.

Lancaster Fire Department Chief Chuck Small said at the scene that both drivers were alert as medics attended to their injuries.

“The officer was walking around after the wreck, though she did complain of an injury to her leg,” Small said. “And the driver of the minivan was conscious and alert when we got to her.”

Donning a yellow safety vest, Lancaster Police Chief Harlean Howard arrived at the scene shortly after the crash to check on the condition of each driver.

Both drivers were loaded onto stretchers and taken by ambulance to Springs Memorial Hospital for treatment.

Lancaster Police Capt. Scott Grant said the officer who was injured in the crash is Sgt. Christina Knight.

“She’s at the hospital now (Thursday afternoon). I don’t know a whole lot, but she apparently was saying she was OK on scene,” Grant said.

Grant did not know her condition or if she had any injuries late Thursday afternoon.

“We’re not sure what happened, but the (S.C.) Highway Patrol will work the accident, since it involved a city officer,” he said. “We asked them to come and work it.”

Watching as two Highway Patrol troopers examined the scene was Lancaster resident Arthur L. Staton, who lives one house down from the intersection.

“I heard a noise and came out to see what happened,” Staton said. “There weren’t a lot of (nearby) people helping, but there were a lot of people watching.”

Staton is no stranger to seeing the flashing lights of fire trucks, ambulances and patrol cars light up his front yard. He said it’s been that way for years as vehicles continuously wreck at that intersection.

“I’ve lived here over 60 years and I’ve seen plenty of ‘em, plenty of ‘em,” he said.

Staton, who has photos from several of the accidents he’s seen during the last six decades, said high speeds are a major contributor to crashes in that intersection.

“People just don’t stop, especially if they are coming from the other side of the road,” Staton said, pointing toward a road that goes toward the hospital. “There used to not even be a stop sign there back in the ‘40s, but at least we have that now.”

Details about the cause of the accident or conditions of either driver were not available Thursday afternoon.

 

 Contact reporter Chris Sardelli at (803) 416-8416