Rockland Police Officer Hurt In 2-Car Crash

By Kathy Curran, WBZ-TV

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.

  • sean

    Hope everyone is ok! Not sure if it was a 4-way stop, but emergency vehicles are still required to stop at stop signs, red lights, etc., before proceeding.

  • ricky

    Cops fault all the way but we all know what will happen

    • John

      How do you know?
      Don’t be nasty.

  • gramps

    Was someone on their ‘cell phone’?


  • Dennis

    Has anyone read the ma general laws chapter 89 section 7b? It reads:
    Section 7B. The driver of a vehicle of a fire, police or recognized protective department and the driver of an ambulance shall be subject to the provisions of any statute, rule, regulation, ordinance or by-law relating to the operation or parking of vehicles, except that a driver of fire apparatus while going to a fire or responding to an alarm, or the driver of a vehicle of a police or recognized protective department or the driver of an ambulance, in an emergency and while in performance of a public duty or while transporting a sick or injured person to a hospital or other destination where professional medical services are available, may drive such vehicle at a speed in excess of the applicable speed limit if he exercises caution and due regard under the circumstances for the safety of persons and property, and may drive such vehicle through an intersection of ways contrary to any traffic signs or signals regulating traffic at such intersection if he first brings such vehicle to a full stop and then proceeds with caution and due regard for the safety of persons and property, unless otherwise directed by a police officer regulating traffic at such intersection. The driver of any such approaching emergency vehicle shall comply with the provisions of section fourteen of chapter ninety when approaching a school bus which has stopped to allow passengers to alight or board from the same, and whose red lamps are flashing.
    Did the officer even slow down?

  • firemanmark

    If you weren’t there stfu. I drive a 43 ft.ladder truck and was responding to a call on Monday with lights and siren.A woman came out from my right (through a stop sign without slowing down) taking a left in front of me.If not for the fact that I was slowing down and had my foot over the brake pedal;she would have been killed.I would have been sued even though I had the right of way and was responding properly and below the speed limit.Most of the drivers in this state are terrible.I am a professional firefighter and an excellent driver with the track record to prove it.The officer was injured so stop the presses before ALL the facts come out.

  • billbranch

    “Most of the drivers in this state are terrible.”
    I agree that they are terrible, most of them beyond terrible.
    Why are they terrible? Because the police allow them to be. Running red lights, failing to yield, cutting other drivers off, no directionals…it’ll never end until there’s the threat of enforcement.
    For example, to yield means to allow the car with the right of way to proceed without slamming on his brakes, swerving to avoid the car which should have yielded, even decreasing speed. Massachusetts drivers think they are superior, but they are ridiculously inferior at the wheel.

  • Barney Fife

    Cowboys—Yeee Haaaaaaa crash—-opps!

  • emom

    First of all, so you all know.. Its a 3 way stop. West water street is the road in which the lady was coming from .. She was coming from the active part of the road. Liberty street is stopped on both sides and only one side of west water street is stopped. This intersection is and has always been a very bad area for accidents. The police department is at the beginning of liberty street near market street.
    The officers do not always have their sirens going, they use them for the most part to alert you they are coming and to get out of the way.. approaching this intersection is dangerous for so many,, a cop coming into it in a hurry to get to an accident or other emergency brings plenty of danger for all… and in this case he had to cross the path of the active live traffic for which they do not stop, AT ALL. This is a huge problem with this intersection,, the active live traffic , they do not yield since they do not have to , and the other 3 sides trying to cross the intersection have to dart across its heavily traveled as well as extremely busy..
    As to who’s fault , that will take some investigation, First look at the impact angle, she plowed into the cruiser , there is no doubt the cruiser was crossing the road in a hurry, he was on an emergency call, However, Like I stated crossing this intersection is very dangerous on none emergencies at any time of the day. There is at least 5 accidents a month in this area , if not more.
    I Know this area very well , passing thru it daily, and have seen far to many not obeying the rules and never giving anyone a chance to cross, its not easy to cross here, I take extreme care to be as careful I as possible. I wish they would install a set of lights and finally make this intersection a 4 way stop,,, it would solve more than 50% OF THE ACCIDENTS, probably more,,,,

  • Emmy

    This accident took place at a very bad intersection of EAST WATER St and Liberty St, not West Water St. And yes the woman had the right of way at this intersection because the direction she was entering the intersection from is the ONLY ONE without a STOP sign. I wasn’t there so I didn’t witness it, but I would think that with all the training police officers receive that he would have slowed down or stopped at the intersection himself, but I’m not so sure he did. Knowing the history of accidents at this intersection you would think that Traffic and Safety would have addressed this issue long before this. It’s a poorly laid out intersection and needs a set of traffic lights so when emergency vehicles approach it, the warning light above will go on. It’s a heavily traveled road. Thank God there were no fatalities.

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