WITN has new information about and new video of two police cars that collided early Saturday morning in Onslow County with one bursting into flames.
Troopers say one Holly Ridge officer had a car stopped when an unknown driver stopped his vehicle. Passengers yelled insults at the officer then sped off. Troopers say officer Ewan Richards pursued the car. So did officer David Ubson not knowing Richards was also in pursuit. Troopers say one patrol car pulled in front of the other, underestimating speed and the cars collided. Troopers say one reason they may not have seen each other is because one car didn't have blue lights on.
"There was very little traffic out, so therefore officer Richards did not activate his emergency equipment as he was trying to overtake the violator," said Highway patrol trooper R.E. Dudley.
While both officers walked away from the wreck, troopers say they're both responsible. They will continue to be on duty through the investigation as their chief determines if they violated standard procedure.
A Holly Ridge police officer had to be rescued after another officer rear-ended him and his patrol car burst into flames.
According to Holly Ridge Police Chief John Maiorano the accident happened Saturday morning just after 2 a.m.
Maiorano says Officer Ewan Richards was performing a traffic stop on Highway 17 when some young men driving by yelled out profanities to Richards. Richards then took off to chase those young men.
As the car with the young men approached the intersection of Highway 50, Maiorano says another officer in the area, Dave Upson, saw that car fly by so he drove onto the highway to chase it, not knowing that Officer Richards was not far behind. Maiorano says Richards ended up rear-ending Upson's car.
Upson's patrol car immediately burst into flames. Richards was able to get Upson out. Luckily no one was injured in the accident. The car is a total loss.
Officers were not able to locate the young men afterwards.
The Highway Patrol is now investigating. Maiorano says at this time he does not know how fast the young men or the officers were going.
Viewers with disabilities can get assistance accessing this station's FCC Public Inspection File by contacting the station with the information listed below. Questions or concerns relating to the accessibility of the FCC's online public file system should be directed to the FCC at 888-225-5322, 888-835-5322 (TTY), or firstname.lastname@example.org.