NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ–A Ford Crown Victoria owned by the New Brunswick Police Department (NBPD) crashed into a guardrail before striking a concrete barrier on September 13, sending two officers to the hospital.
The vehicle, driven by Officer Richard Reed III, "was responding with lights and sirens to a call for assistance from other officers," according to the police report signed by NBPD Sgt. James Hoover.
The officers' ultimate destination was just a block away: the New Brunswick train station.
The report, which was posted to the city's website, said one "possible cause" of the one-car crash was "a fresh oil or hydraulic fluid spill" at the intersection of Joyce Kilmer Avenue and French Street.
The crash took place at about 7:35pm in the area where the Northeast Corridor railroad viaduct passes over Route 27. According to the report, Reed was "executing a right turn from Joyce Kilmer Avenue onto French Street when the rear end of the vehicle spun out."
The vehicle then impacted a guardrail on the driver's side before hitting the concrete divider separating the roadway from the sidewalk on the passenger side.
Along with Reed, his partner Officer Nicholas Grammar was treated at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital. The report says the officers were treated for "leg pain and head pain respectively," but it's not clear which one was treated for which.
It's also not clear if they were transported in an ambulance because the crash occurred just a few feet from one of the hospital's entrances.
According to the report, the damage to the police vehicle "was significant, causing it to be towed from the scene."
In the past, police officials have declined to comment on the extent of damage to police vehicles indicating that the Middlesex County Municipal Joint Insurance Fund ultimately decides if the vehicle is worth being repaired or not.
Captain JT Miller has also refused to state whether or not the officers involved in crashes have returned to work, or if they missed any days on medical leave, citing "health and work status are personnel issues which I cannot discuss.
This crash is at least the second of the year involving Officer Reed. As we reported previously, Reed was behind the wheel of an NBPD vehicle that struck another while responding to a "street fight" in June.
Captain Miller did not immediately respond to an inquiry about what type of call Reed and Grammar were responding to at the time of the latest NBPD-involved crash.
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 was an independent candidate for Mayor of New Brunswick in 2018.