A Redlands police officer suffered major injuries early on Friday, Feb. 15, after his Ford Explorer/Interceptor crashed into a utility pole as he was responding to a police call. According to a KTLA news report, the single-vehicle crash occurred at about 3 a.m. near the intersection of Lugonia Avenue and Church Street.
The officer was responding to a “man with a gun” call when he lost control of the SUV and crashed. The vehicle caught fire after crashing into the pole. He was transported to an area hospital with broken bones and other major injuries, according to a news release put out by the Redlands Police Department. No one else was injured in the incident.
Our thoughts and prayers are with the injured police officer and his family members. We wish him the very best for a speedy and complete recovery.
What Caused This Crash?
There are a number of unanswered questions in the wake of this particular incident. Details are scarce at this time and an investigation is likely ongoing to determine what caused a police officer who was responding to a call about a man with a gun, to crash into a utility pole. We trust investigators are looking into a number of issues including whether the officer suffered a medical condition or if excessive speed or vehicle malfunctions were involved.
Based on television footage of this incident, it appears the officer was driving a department-issued Ford Explorer/Interceptor. Our law firm is representing a number of police officers who have been injured in single-vehicle crashes just like this one. In the cases that we are already handling, the police officers involved suffered carbon monoxide poisoning while driving Ford Explorer/Interceptor vehicles. This led to them becoming disoriented or losing consciousness and crashing as a result. There have been several reports of police officers nationwide being poisoned by the lethal gas that seeps into the vehicle. This is a serious, life-threatening problem that has been seen in both police and civilian vehicles.
No Recall Yet
Carbon monoxide poisoning in Ford Explorer/Inerceptor vehicles is not something new. This is a serious vehicle safety defect that Ford has been trying to solve since 2011. Ford has maintained that the problem with the Explorer/Interceptor police vehicles is due to after-market modifications which were done by the individual police departments after they purchase the vehicles to accommodate emergency equipment such as lights and sirens. However, that doesn’t explain why carbon monoxide poisoning has been occurring in civilian vehicles as well.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has said it is looking into the problem in more than a million of these SUVs. But so far, there has been no sign of a recall. Ford initiated a repair campaign last year. But, many vehicle owners who used the program say the problem has not gone away.
We hope the investigation reveals more details about precisely what caused this crash. If in fact leaking carbon monoxide caused this major injury crash, the officer would be well advised to contact an experienced auto defect lawyer who is currently handling Ford Explorer carbon monoxide cases. Bisnar Chase specializes in handling such cases and can help those involved in auto defect crashes. Injured victims in such cases may be able to seek compensation for damages including medical expenses, lost income, hospitalization, cost of rehabilitation, permanent injuries and past and future pain and suffering.