Chattanooga officer recounts crash - KSWO 7News | Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Chattanooga officer recounts crash

(Source: KSWO) (Source: KSWO)
(Source: KSWO) (Source: KSWO)

CHATTANOOGA, OK (KSWO) -Chattanooga's Police Chief is back to work after he was hit head-on by a drunk driver.

The crash happened just after 6 o'clock Saturday on Highway 36 right outside of Chattanooga.  Police Chief Rob Stallcup was on duty traveling east down the highway when he saw Peter Calvillo’s car coming toward him.

Stallcup said at first he just thought someone was messing with him but as the was headed straight for Saturday night, he realized it was no joke.

"I've been looking for drunk drivers my whole career and this guy found me so it was pretty easy," he said.

Stallcup said once he realized he was going to get hit head on, he stopped his unit and braced for impact.

"I don't know if he was even looking in my direction or if he was enjoying the sights of beautiful Chattanooga,” Stallcup said. “I don't know what he was doing."

Stallcup said Peter Calvillo was going about 30 miles-per-hour when he hit his patrol unit. He said Calvillo had just gotten his license back from a previous DUI when the accident happened.

"It's his third offense and hopefully something a little bit more meaningful will come about this," Stallcup said.

Calvillo was charged with misdemeanors for driving under the influence and transporting an open container.

But though he is facing only misdemeanor charges for a crash that could have been much worse, Stallcup said he is not letting that fact bother him.  Stallcup said his job is to catch the bad guys, and what happens in court is out of his hands.

"If you get too wrapped around the axle, then you just won't be able to do your job effectively,” Stallcup said. “You can't get frustrated, you can't get down, you just have to do your job, do your piece of the pie and let the other ones do theirs."

Another challenge could soon face is getting another police unit, because they only had two to begin with.

"When you're a small department like we are, and have the limited resources that we have when someone takes out a major asset of a vehicle or something like that it kinda leaves you behind the curve a little bit," Stallcup said.

The chief said since the crash, other departments in southwest Oklahoma have rallied behind them, offering to lend a patrol car.

He said it doesn't take very much alcohol to reach the legal limit, and even if you haven't reached that point, you can still get charged with driving while intoxicated or impaired.

"Just to call somebody,” Stallcup said. “Call a friend or family or even a taxi. The 20 dollars you spend on a taxi is a lot better than spending anywhere from fifteen hundred to ten thousand dollars on a drunk driving ticket."

Chief Stallcup said some ways drivers can stay safe against drunk drivers is by wearing their seat belts and being alert and aware of their surroundings.

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