Police Chief Timothy Hanlon and Fire Chief Timothy Grenno report that the Whitman Police and Fire Departments responded to a crash this morning involving a motor vehicle colliding with a construction vehicle.
On Tuesday, May 11 at approximately 11:40 a.m., three Whitman Police Officers were working a road detail in the area of 244 South Avenue (Route 27) in Whitman. A National Grid work crew was working in a trench that occupied most of the westbound lane on South Avenue.
Officer Christopher Lee was stopping the westbound traffic while Officers Kevin Shanteler and Paul Young were stationed at the trench and at the eastbound side of the detail.
While Officer Lee stopped the westbound traffic he observed a male party slumped over the wheel of a gray Honda CRV that was approaching. As Officer Lee approached the vehicle it moved forward, almost striking him, and traveled directly towards the trench that the National Grid crew was working in.
Officer Lee quickly alerted the crew of the approaching vehicle, which enabled the workers to escape the trench before the vehicle drove into it.
It is believed that the male inside the vehicle had suffered a medical emergency before he drove through the work site and into the trench, ultimately crashing into a front end loader on scene.
Due in part to the officer's quick thinking, no injuries were reported by any of the workers or officers on scene at the time of the crash.
The three officers on scene immediately began to render aid to the motorist and requested the Whitman Fire Department to the scene. The operator of the vehicle was transported to a local hospital by Whitman Ambulance with non-life threatening injuries.
“This incident is proof that police officers provide an important level of safety and awareness while on the scene of a construction site such as this,” Chief Hanlon said. "The Whitman Police Department is extremely proud of the professionalism exhibited by all of the officers involved in this incident, and we are all thankful that a serious injury -- or worse -- was avoided.”