Summerville, SC – Whether on-duty or off-duty, police officers have experienced their share of motorcycle crashes recently.
On-Duty Police Officer Involved in Motorcycle Crash
On April 15, 2008, a motorcycle officer in Summerville, South Carolina collided with a pickup truck, causing him to slam into a car after becoming airborne. As a result of the traffic accident, he suffered a broken leg.
The accident occurred when Officer William Tolson III had to block traffic because of a funeral procession that was taking place. However, he had to pass the procession to get ahead of it. At some point during this maneuver, he came in contact with a pickup driven by Shirley Mays as she was turning into the Old Fort Baptist Church parking lot. He then cracked the headlight of a Buick when he landed on the car. Highway Patrol Cpl. Paul Brouthers says that Tolson will not be cited, but was a contributor to the accident because passing was not permitted in the area.
Tolson had to be flown to an area hospital after the crash had occurred at 12:20 p.m.
Motorcycle Accident Kills Police Officer
In another crash that occurred in Tampa on May 1, 2008, an off-duty Tampa police officer was killed on his motorcycle when a truck driver driving a county truck turned into his path. The officer and father of 6 died later at the hospital.
The officer, Victor Guerrero, 47, was riding southbound along the roadway in a 55 mph zone when the truck turned in front of him. Upon the truck interrupting his path, Guerrero was ejected from his motorcycle and thrown for a distance. He then made impact with a second truck that was northbound. The second truck was approximately 50 feet behind the one that had turned into his path. Unfortunately, it is believed that Guerrero was not wearing a helmet.
Rosario Fierro was nearby when he said he heard tires squealing and witnessed Guerrero flying through the air. The 20-year police veteran was later airlifted to an area hospital where he died.
The driver of the county vehicle said he did not see the motorcycle. As of May 1, no charges had been filed against Daniel Whipple, the driver of the truck. He has, however, submitted to a drug test. According to records, he has been cited for speeding on two occasions, received a citation for causing a crash due to not obeying a traffic sign, and a citation for failing to use due care.
The community remembers Guerrero as having an outstanding reputation, was never changing, a steady person, and performed his job with pride and dignity.
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