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


By Tristan Smith
masslive.com
        
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.

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McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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