LAWTON,Okla_Several people were hurt Tuesday in a chain reaction wreck caused by a driver who ran a red light. A Lawton Police officer was in his patrol car at the intersection of Sheridan and Lee, waiting to make a left turn onto Sheridan. At the same time, the driver of a pickup was heading west on Lee and blew through the red light.
He collided into a mini van on Sheridan that had the right of way. The impact of the crash slammed the truck into the median, sending it airborne. It ended up crashing into the officer's patrol car before coming to a rest in the median.
With four people injured, including one of their own officers, you can imagine just how chaotic it was. Even worse, just seconds after the accident, another crash was called in just a few blocks east. It took emergency personnel even longer to fight through traffic, causing tensions to run high amongst other drivers.
It took only seconds for the series of events to cause the collision inside a busy intersection. While some emergency responders were already on scene, Lawton Assistant Police Chief James Apple says for others like himself, it wasn't so easy to get to.
"As myself and Deputy Chief Wright were approaching this accident, 17th and Lee that we came through, we did notice there were three cars involved in an accident there possibly due to traffic backed up here," said Apple.
He says no one was sure how badly the people involved were injured but judging from the positioning of the vehicles and the damage it didn't look good. Apple also said the fact that one of their own was involved in this accident made things even more difficult.
"Emotions are high, we on the police department, it's a family just like any other family member," said Apple.
Even worse he says the accident happened in one of the city's major arteries only compounding problems, raising concern for a third accident.
"While sitting here talking, there are some that are becoming impatient that are literally cutting the intersection, cutting over the center medians to avoid this and that is causing a definite potential for another accident."
The intersection was reopened after about two hours. We're told everyone involved seems to be doing okay. Other patrol officers who responded to the accident say they had to keep their cool after impatient drivers tried to go around roadblocks.
Police are asking while roads are congested due to construction or accidents to slow down and to try to stay calm.