Elmira Police release new information on Clemens Center Bridge crash

Local News

ELMIRA, N.Y. (WETM) – Elmira Police have released new information about a multi-vehicle crash on Monday involving three police vehicles on the Clemens Center Bridge.

On November 16, 2020, at around 6:36 pm, several officers from the Elmira Police Department were dispatched to a residence within the 100 block of Franklin Street for a report of a residential burglary in progress where two men were observed to kick in the front door and enter the residence.

Three marked police units utilized Clemens Center Parkway to travel to the scene. As the lead patrol vehicle travelled south over the Clemens Center Bridge, it encountered a vehicle travelling south in the passing / left hand lane. There were two other civilian vehicles pulled over to the right lane and shoulder of the parkway. Although the marked patrol vehicle was utilizing all of its emergency lights and sirens, the civilian vehicle failed to yield to the emergency vehicle and blocked the travel of the police vehicles. The civilian vehicle and lead police vehicle slowed to a stop.

A second responding police vehicle slowed to a stop behind the lead police vehicle and the civilian vehicle.

A third police vehicle travelling south over the bridge crested the apex of the bridge and observed the traffic jam just ahead. The officer of the third patrol vehicle applied the brakes however was unable to stop in time and struck the rear of the second patrol vehicle. This caused the second patrol vehicle to rear end the lead patrol vehicle and then collide with the center guardrail. The lead patrol vehicle glanced the civilian vehicle and was then struck a second time by the third patrol vehicle.

According to Elmira Police, the officer driving the second patrol vehicle suffered a head laceration and was released from the hospital the same evening.

No other injuries were reported at the scene.

The civilian vehicle, a white 2015 Kia Optima, sustained minor cosmetic damage and was able to be driven from the scene. All three police vehicles were damaged to the point of being inoperable and were towed from the scene.

The operator of the civilian vehicle, a 54 year old female from Southport, was later issued traffic citations for Aggravated Unlicensed Operation of a Motor Vehicle and Failure to Yield to an Authorized Emergency Vehicle.

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