Main Street traffic was rerouted down Hovander Road and LaBounty Drive so aid crews could tend to patients at the scene of a 2-car crash at the intersection of Main Street and Joe Moser Lane, a private drive.
Aid crews were dispatched about 11:45am today, Thursday, April 11th.
An unmarked Ferndale Police Department 2011 Chevrolet Tahoe SUV had heavy damage to the front-left of the vehicle and a 2016 Subaru Impreza 4-door hatchback had heavy damage to the driver’s side door.
Whatcom County Fire District 7 Fire Chief Larry Hoffman said aid crews needed to use a hydraulic rescue tool known as the “Jaws of Life” to extricate the driver from the Subaru. The driver of the Chevrolet was transported via basic life support protocal (BLS) for precautionary reasons via ambulance and the driver from the Subaru was transported via advanced life support protocal (ALS) via a medic unit.
Washington State Patrol Trooper Heather Axtman said WSP investigators had been dispatched to handle the crash investigation.
Main Street remained closed for about 3 hours while WSP investigators engineered the crash scene.
About 5pm, WSP investigators released their findings in a press memo. It identified the driver of the Subaru as Teresa Thompson, age 64, of Ferndale, and said she had been airlifted to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle. The driver of the Chevrolet was identified as Officer William Hatchett, no age given, also of Ferndale.
According to the press memo, failure to yield was cited as the cause of the crash. Investigators determined, Axtman said during a telephone interview, that Hatchett, although responding to a call and with his lights activated, failed to yield at a red light. No charges were expected according to the press memo.
Not sure cops should be immunized against traffic laws even if they think they’re in a hurry.
There are plenty of examples where a second of inattention causes more harm than any crime they might be rushing to.
In this case, the victim is the cop’s responsibility, 100%.
Hopefully both the citizen and the officer will recover from this quickly and completely. I am not a first responder with lights and sirens, so I don’t know from experience how many drivers ignore or fail to recognize those visual and aural warnings, but I’m sure they must occur occasionally. I watch the fireman, with everything blazing, often still slow way, way down as they navigate an light or busy intersection.
I won’t condemn the officer, though. We don’t know the call he was answering. A situation he was familiar with? Something he knew he needed to be there quick or might be dangerous and for a brief moment, his focus shifted from that intersection to what was waiting for him? So, yes, it is his fault. But I’m glad there are police to answer those calls and that we have honest State Troopers that look at the accident and tell it like it is. That is not true everywhere.
How long has Hatchett even been with the department? He was probably taking a call from someone leaving the dump going over 25 on a fielded area of Labounty (after the residential area)… That seems to be his forte!! Not a man committed to making his community great!! Prayers for Theresa!!
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