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NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—A police SUV driven by an officer with just over a year on the job was struck by a Hyundai Sonata driven by a 23-year-old Lawrenceville man shortly before 1am on July 3, according to a police report.
The crash, which occurred at the corner of Jones Avenue and Seaman Street caused “major damage” to both vehicles and sent New Brunswick police officer Eric Martinez to the hospital.
Martinez, age 25, “sustained a laceration to his knee and neck and back pain,” according to the report written by Sgt. James Hoover. Hoover also signed off as the officer who reviewed the report.
The incident was publicized by the New Brunswick Police Department (NBPD) thanks to their new policy of posting all motor vehicle crash reports on the city’s website.
Martinez, who was driving a city-owned Dodge Durango, was taken to Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital, according to the report. The other driver, Andriy Artemyeva, reportedly “complained of ringing in his ears but refused medical attention.”
Both vehicles were disabled and towed away from the scene of the crash.
As a result of the crash, Hoover issued three summonses to the other driver who allegedly failed to stop at a stop sign at the intersection.
“As [the NBPD vehicle] crossed the intersection of Jones and Seaman, [Artemyeva] disregarded the stop sign and struck [the NBPD vehicle], causing [the NBPD vehicle] to spin around and come to rest at the intersection,” reads Hoover’s report.
Artemyeva is charged with careless driving, failure to observe traffic signals, and failure to observe a stop or yield sign.
According to an announcement on the city’s website, Martinez was sworn in as a New Brunswick police officer on June 3, 2015.
NBPD Captain JT Miller, the department’s spokesperson, declined to state if or when Martinez returned to work following the crash.
“Officer Martinez’s health and work status are personnel issues which I cannot discuss,” Miller told New Brunswick Today.
Miller also declined to comment on the extent of damage the department’s SUV incurred, and whether or not it has been or will be repaired.
“I do not know the extent of damage to the police vehicle involved whereas the City’s insurance company evaluates the damage and decides if the vehicle is worth being repaired or not, and feasible to return to service.”
The city’s insurance “company” is actually the Middlesex County Municipal Joint Insurance Fund (MCMJIF), which provides coverage for more than 20 government entities including the City, the New Brunswick Board of Education, and the New Brunswick Parking Authority.
Charlie is the founder and editor of New Brunswick Today, and the winner of the Awbrey Award for Community-Oriented Local Journalism. He is a proud Rutgers University journalism graduate and a community organizer, and an independent candidate for Mayor of New Brunswick.