8/22/2014

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2 hurt, including police officer, in crash

2 hurt, including police officer, in crash

YAKIMA, Wash. -- Two people including a police officer were hurt in a crash Thursday morning near Lincoln and Custer Avenues.

"It sounded very loud like somebody threw a grenade or something," said a man who works nearby.

That explosion was actually the sound of a Yakima police car hitting another car. 

School Resource Officer Lynn Thorn sounded like she was in pain when she reported the crash to dispatch. She could only communicate she was somewhere on Lincoln Avenue.
    
"After what happened to her and then having her airbags deploy, it's admirable how she was able to get enough information as to where she was," said Yakima police spokesperson Rod Light.

A smashed Cadillac ended up on a front lawn and Officer Thorn's damaged police car just down the block.

Investigators said she was driving on Lincoln Avenue when the Cadillac turned and cut her off.

"That's a lot of impact to get that car up on that shoulder there and have the police car end up way down there," said neighbor Jason Rozier.

Sergeant Jay Seely trains police officers to drive in their cars full of electronic equipment: on-board computers, radios and cell phones.

They all could be possible distractions, but the state law that bans talking and texting while driving doesn't apply to police.

Officers still have to follow department rules.     

"They're expected to listen to the radio, drive, pay attention to their driving," said Yakima police sergeant Jay Seely. "If they're going get on the mobile data terminal and do any type of typing or searching, they're supposed to pull over and do that."

The department said officer-involved accidents happen, but they aren't common.

Investigators are trying to find witnesses to this accident before speaking with the drivers. Answers to help them determine who was at fault are hard to come by.

Both drivers are okay.

Officer Thorn was expected to be released from the hospital late Thursday.

There were three kids in the Cadillac. None of them were hurt.

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