Yukon Police Officer Involved In Deadly Auto-Ped Accident

Saturday, January 11th 2014, 11:30 pm
By: News 9

We are learning more about a deadly accident involving a police officer in Yukon. The Police Captain says the officer feels terrible after hitting and killing a pedestrian with his police cruiser.

Yukon Police say it was a sudden and tragic accident that happened on a well-traveled street with no crosswalks.

Just a few blocks away from the Yukon Police Station, one officer headed out to patrol, came head on with a man crossing the street. It was dark when the crash happened just before 5 Saturday morning.

"He just left here, so you're talking about a couple hundred feet away, and we don't know why the man was crossing there," said Yukon Police Captain Michael Merry, who's been on the department for 28 years.

Merry says the officer was just in the 7th hour of his 10-hour shift when he left the station.

"There was real minimal damage if any to our police car, so we're not sure that we're even going to be able to pull up a speed on the unit," he said.

"There is no dash-cam video because our dash-cams typically go off when the overhead lights go on, and since this was just a tragic accident that happened suddenly, there wouldn't be any reason for his lights to be on."

1/11/2014 Related Story: Yukon Police Car Hits, Kills Pedestrian Early Saturday Morning

The pedestrian died at the scene near 400 S. Ranchwood Rd. The officer involved was not injured but shaken up.

"I can tell you the officer is really affected by it. All the guys here have been affected by it. It's just a terrible tragic accident," Merry said. "First, we had the wreck that injured one officer right in front of the station late last year, and then this deal."

The pedestrian was struck and killed not far from the Ranchwood Plaza where Gwen Backes owns Lil' Bear Beads and sees people walking the street all the time.

"It is probably a big street to cross with no middle, you know, with no neutral ground in the middle or anything," said Backes, who's run the bead shop for three years. "I'm not sure if a crosswalk would even help because folks cross the street when and where they want to."

Backes says although the street is typically busy, she's still shocked a man died.

"It's pretty scary. There's a lot of people who walk in this area, but I've never seen any trouble," she said. "It's surprising because 35 miles an hour, is you know, pretty slow, I'm always griping because it is 35 miles an hour on this street, it is well patrolled too."

The names of the officer or the victim have not yet been released. Yukon Police say he was a local who was married. That officer is now on paid administrative leave while the crash is under investigation.