Friday, April 10, 2015

Falls police officer, three others injured in 3 car accident

Posted: Monday, March 30, 2015

A 32-year-old Falls police officer was treated and released early Monday for injuries sustained after he was struck by at least two vehicles — his unmarked police car and one he had pulled over — that were plowed into by a third car driven by a suspected drunken driver on Route 1 Sunday night, police said.
Thomas Lundquist, an eight-year veteran of department, was working a traffic enforcement detail along northbound Route 1 near the Route 13 exit around 10:45 p.m. when the car driven by a 28-year-old Trenton man slammed into his patrol car, pushing it into the vehicle that was pulled over, police said Monday. Both cars then hit the officer, throwing him to the ground, police said.

Lundquist suffered minor injuries to his right wrist and ankle. 
The Courier Times is not identifying the driver of the car that struck the other cars because he has not been charged with a crime. Police said they are awaiting blood test results to see if he was driving while intoxicated. He is listed in serious condition at Helene Fuld campus of Capitol Health Systems in Trenton, Lt. Todd Pletnick said.
Three people inside the car that Lundquist stopped also were treated and released for minor injuries, Pletnick said. Police initially believed four people were in the car.
The driver of the striking car was the most seriously injured after his head went through the windshield of the car, authorities said.
All three cars involved in the accident were in the northbound lanes of Route 1, near the Route 13 exit, police said. The accident closed northbound Route 1 for about two hours.
The officer who was struck was standing by the driver’s side of the car he had just pulled over for speeding when the third vehicle — also northbound on Route 1 — struck the rear of the unmarked patrol car. As the vehicle spun around, the officer was caught between all three vehicles and thrown to the ground, police said.
Lundquist is a K-9 officer, but the dog was not in the car because the officer's regular marked SUV was out of commission.
The stretch of highway often attracts speeders, Lt. Hank Ward said. The car that the officer had pulled over was traveling at more than 90 mph, he said.
“We were very lucky that our officer has the minor injuries that he does,” Ward said. “This is a very bad highway for us. We do a lot of traffic enforcement up here and it’s very common for vehicles to be traveling at 100 miles plus in this area.”

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