A Bellingham police cruiser on Meridian Street was rear-ended by a Ford van Thursday afternoon, Nov. 15, sending a patrol officer to the hospital.
The 57-year-old driver of the southbound Ford Windstar looked away for a moment as traffic, unbeknownst to him, was stopping ahead in the 3500 block of Meridian Street, said Bellingham police spokesman Mark Young. By the time the driver hit his brakes, it was too late.
The Windstar hit the 2009 Crown Victoria with two officers inside, both of whom have been with the department for at least 10 years. A patrol officer, 49, was taken by private vehicle to St. Joseph hospital as a precaution. Young declined to give the officer's name or details about his injuries but said he was back at work for his regular shift at noon Friday.
"He's doing fine," Young said.
The Crown Victoria is in the shop for repairs. Damage was estimated at $1,000.
Police cited the van driver for failing to reduce his speed for a stop. Officers don't think drugs or alcohol were involved.
It was the second crash this week involving a law enforcement vehicle in Whatcom County.
On Monday, Sgt. Kevin Moyes of the Whatcom County Sheriff's Office was on routine patrol in the Lake Samish area when an oncoming motorcycle crossed over a double-yellow line fairly close to him, said Undersheriff Jeff Parks. Moyes did a U-turn and started a pursuit along the winding road.
As he went around a bend - slick from a light oil sheen and wet debris on the asphalt - the car skidded and crashed into a ditch at about 15 mph, Parks said. Ditch water flooded the trunk and the bumper was crinkled, but Moyes was OK.
Parks estimated the damage at about $1,000. The cruiser is still in commission.
The motorcyclist was ticketed by another deputy.