Trending Topics

Mass. county CO ‘lucky to be alive’ after cruiser struck by drunk driver

The officer was driving to a local hospital to cover a security shift for an inmate in the department’s custody


Facebook/Hampden County Sheriff’s Department

By Tristan Smith

HAMPDEN COUNTY, Mass. — A Hampden County correctional officer is “lucky to be alive” after a man police said was driving drunk crashed into multiple vehicles in Milton early Monday morning, the Hampden County Sheriff’s Office said.

The officer was driving to Lemuel Shattuck Hospital in Jamaica Plain to cover a security shift for an inmate in the department’s custody at around 12:30 a.m., officials said. He was driving his sheriff’s department Ford Explorer cruiser through the intersection of Blue Hills Parkway and Brush Hill Road in Milton when police said Julien Fernandes ran a red light in his BMW. The 25-year-old Brockton man struck the cruiser on the driver’s side and also hit a nearby Acura sedan.

The airbags were deployed in the officer’s cruiser and the other two vehicles involved in the accident, authorities said.

The correctional officer was “sore and shaken up,” but didn’t show any sign of serious injuries, authorities said. The officer was transported to a Milton hospital to be checked out.

Authorities said the operator of the Acura, a 27-year-old man also from Brockton, showed no signs of serious injury.

Fernandes was arrested and has since been charged with operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of intoxicating liquor, negligent operation of a motor vehicle and failure to stop.

“We are thankful that our officer and the other drivers involved were not seriously injured or killed in the accident,” said Hampden County Sheriff Nick Cocchi. “This correctional officer showed amazing professionalism and insisted on finishing his shift despite the fact that the cruiser he was driving was hit so hard, it is likely totaled.”

The investigation remains ongoing.

©2022 Advance Local Media LLC.

The CO worked at the prison for about 24.5 years before retiring in 2015, a result of a racially hostile environment at the facility, according to court documents
As three COs were subduing the inmate, he managed to escape their grasp and punched an officer in the eye
The chef said he’s been trying to help the county fix its jail food problem, which is so severe correctional officers have worried it could spark a riot
Sheriff: “My officers have a difficult job and should not be subjected to baseless complaints”