Collision sends officer to hospital

PARKERSBURG – A collision between a Parkersburg police cruiser and a civilian vehicle Thursday morning is under investigation.

Parkersburg police Chief Joe Martin said the incident has been turned over to Wood County Prosecutor Jason Wharton and the Wood County Crash Team.

“To remove any sense of impropriety, we decided to remove ourselves from the investigation,” Martin said.

Martin said because Parkersburg police are not involved in the investigation, he could release only limited details on the incident.

The collision occurred after 10 a.m. in the 3400 block of Murdoch Avenue. Officials said Parkersburg High School Prevention Resource Officer Dan Miller was responding to a call for assistance from an officer involved in a foot chase when Miller’s cruiser struck a Grand Am.

Martin said Miller had his lights and siren on at the time of the collision.

Miller’s cruiser sustained heavy front end damage while the Grand Am had heavy rear end damage. The Grand Am was spun around, coming to rest on the sidewalk next to Buffalo Wild Wings, while the cruiser came to a stop in the center turn lane.

Martin said Miller was taken to Camden Clark Medical Center with head trauma.

“Nothing life threatening, but he took a pretty significant blow to his head from something inside the vehicle,” Martin said. “He is going to be OK, thankfully, but it may be a while before he is fully recovered.”

Information on the other driver was not immediately available Thursday, but initial reports indicated only minor injuries.

Wharton said the crash team members are with the Wood County Sheriff’s Office, West Virginia State Police and Vienna Police Department. He said city police officers were taken from the investigation, according to protocol.

“They still have witnesses they need to make contact with,” Wharton said Thursday afternoon. “There’s still a lot of time involved in the investigation.”

Evidence from the scene, as well as eyewitnesses and photographs, will help the crash team in its investigation, Wharton said.