ROCKLAND (CBS) – A mangled Rockland police cruiser was pinned against a pole after a car slammed into it while Officer James McLaughlin was responding to an emergency call.
Rescue crews needed the jaws of life to free the officer who was trapped inside. McLaughlin suffered serious injuries to his left side but is expected to be OK. Chief John Liewellyn said, “There was extensive work by the fire department to extract him from the vehicle. You can see he was pushed up agains the telephone poll , they couldn’t open either of the doors. The side impact bag didn’t protect him he got caught up on the prisoner cage and took a big part of the brunt on his left side.”
WBZ-TV’s Kathy Curran reports
Kelly Ergas works nearby. She says, “I heard sirens, boom, boom, boom, I came out and looked. I saw the lady get out of the car, she was really shaken up.”
The driver of the car, Jill Ferguson, lives just down the road. Her husband, Tom, said she was on her way to pick their kids up from school when she hit the cruiser at the intersection of Liberty and East Water streets. Ferguson said, “She gave me a call and said she was coming through the intersection and he came flying across. She said there were no sirens at the time that he turned them on right when he got to the intersection.”
The Chief believes Officer McLaughlin did everything right. He said the officer’s lights and siren were on but the crash is under investigation by State Police.