Thomasville, NC-- A Thomasville Police Officer ran his car into the office of a high school on September 4.
The only information released by police after the crash was that it happened early that morning and no one including the officer was injured.
Monday, September 17 the City Manager, Kelly Craver and the Police Chief, Jeffrey Insley released an update on the collision and the status of the officer.
According to their report, Officer Jonathan Regan said after leaving a call on Unity Street he saw a large dog in the roadway and changed lanes to avoid it. Officer Regan said after that he woke up and was sitting inside the school.
The city's report said the on-scene investigation revealed a Patrol had ran off the right side of the road, crossing grass and dry pavement. It also states that no skid marks were observed and estimate of travel of the car was 267 feet. The car hit two curbs and the ground prior to hitting the school building. The preliminary report estimated that the speed at the time of the crash was 40mph and upon impact with the school it was moving at almost 30mph (29.6mph).
On the scene Officer Regan told investigators he had no memory of the collision. Regan was treated for an injury (contusion) to the back of his head but didn't seek medical attention the night of the crash.
The officer's car passed a vehicle inspection. The brakes were working properly, tires had good tread and accelerator functioned properly, according to the report. Officer Regan couldn't confirm or deny if he was wearing his seatbelt.
Chief Insley requested that Regan get a medical review and he complied. His drug test was negative, doctors said fatigue was not a factor and they cleared him to return to work.
Police and the City manager's office reviewed video tapes from Thomasville High School as part of their investigation. The report states that the videos supported officer's story, however they didn't see a dog. It also states that part of the area was not seen by a camera.
Nothing mechanical contributed to the crash and officer Regan was not on his phone or laptop when the collision happened, the report said. The officer's contusion came after the patrol hit the curb causing his head to go forward and back hitting the knob of a door that opens a door on the shield. The officer was also hit in the head by his shotgun which fell from its mount after the officer hit the curb,
Recommendations handed down from the city manager and police chief: Officer Regan is reassigned as a desk officer and downtown foot patrol until he completes a remedial, low speed driving safety training course.
Action will be taken with regard to Officer Regan failing to wear a seatbelt. Action to be taken with ALL officers after a crash, to seek medical attention before going home. Finally, ALL officers who operate patrol cars with shields will have to keep the the sliding window closed when the car is in motion.