CLEVELAND – The pictures of an out-of-control car crashing into two state troopers taken by a police cruiser dashboard video camera were frightening, but on Monday, 19/43 News' Wendy Gillette obtained the audio track of terror -- the tape of 911 calls made by motorists who stopped along Interstate 71 to help.
- 911: Sheriff's emergency.
Caller: Yeah, I've got a cop that's just been hit on I-71.
911: You have an accident on 71?
Caller: Uh, state patrol's been hit. He's down!
911: OK, he was out of his car?
Caller: Yeah, he had another car pulled over.
911: OK, hold on here with me. Did you see it happen?
Caller: Yes, ma'am.
911: All right, hold on.
Caller: I need somebody sent out here in a hurry.
911: All right, we will. Hold on here.
When you see the cruiser's dash-cam video (link, above), it's hard to believe that trooper Chris Wood survived. Wood was outside of his police cruiser and came within inches of being hit by the oncoming vehicle.
Wood, who was injured, has spent much of his time since the accident at doctors' offices. He injured his right knee, and won't be back at work for several weeks. His injury was more serious than first thought.
He did, however, want to pass on his thanks to all of the drivers who stopped and called for help.
One such caller couldn't believe the damage. He told a 911 operator that the rear end of the cruiser was mashed all of the way into the front seat.
- Caller: Everything's messed up. Everything is right here. I mean, the white station wagon, the state patrol car, everything.
In all, five people were hurt in the accident. All are expected to recover.
Ambulances rushed to the crash just as soon as the 911 calls came pouring in.
The 77-year-old driver of the station wagon was cited for failure to control his car.
One more step by Wood, and the driver probably would have faced much more serious charges.