ALEXANDRIA, La. (AP) — State police investigators say a fatal accident involving a Ball police officer traveling almost 90 mph was caused by a bicycle lying in the road.
The Town-Talk reports (http://bit.ly/n1fBNl ) Officer Russell A. “Roscoe” George died in a crash early on the morning of June 26 on U.S. Highway 165 in Ball.
A state police report, released on Thursday, said George was on duty and was responding to a call for assistance from another Ball police officer. George had the vehicle’s emergency lights on and was wearing a seatbelt.
George was traveling south at a high rate of speed to assist the officer when his 2009 Ford Crown Victoria hit the back tire of the bicycle lying in the road, just north of the intersection of U.S. 165 and La. Highway 623 (Tioga Road), according to the report.
The report states that the bicycle’s model was a Next Amplifier. Authorities have the model number and the serial number of the bicycle but haven’t been able to determine the bicycle’s owner or how the bicycle ended up in the roadway.
After the police car hit the bike, George lost control of the vehicle, which ran off the road, went through a ditch, hit several trees and caught fire. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
The report states that the police car had been traveling approximately 89.7 mph. George “steered aggressively to the right” to try to avoid hitting the bicycle. The car left the roadway at about 78.11 mph and hit the trees at about 54.57 mph.
George was unable to exit the vehicle and “succumbed to the injuries he sustained in the crash,” police reported.
No blood sample was taken because the body was sent for an autopsy. Police said alcohol is not suspected to be a factor in the crash.
Two witnesses were interviewed by police. One of them, a man, saw the crash occur, and the other, a woman, saw the police car on fire just after the accident. The man went to the wrecked vehicle but said it was too late to help. The woman had her son call 911, and then she flagged down a police officer.
Information from: Alexandria Daily Town Talk, http://www.thetowntalk.com