Jun 5 2013

Lowell police officer falls asleep at the wheel, causes extensive damage to school

Dr. Q

A Lowell police officer caused extensive damage to a specialized classroom for students with autism after he fell asleep while driving and crashed into a school. The officer was been placed on desk duty pending a medical review (Source: The Lowell Sun).

More details here:

The impact of the crash broke a water pipe feeding the school’s HVAC system, resulting in substantial water damage to the classroom, said Jay Lang, an assistant superintendent in the School Department.

“The classroom was deluged with water,” Lang said, noting that among items destroyed were computers that assist students in communicating. “Of all the classrooms in the school, this is the one we can least afford to lose.”

The accident happened at about 3:30 a.m. on May 28. Police Capt. Kelly Richardson said an email that for the safety of the public and the officer, the officer has been placed on desk duty pending a medical review. The police department declined to identify the officer. The Sun, however, learned from numerous sources the officer is Daniel Hyde, a department veteran who makes nearly $70,000 a year.

Hyde was not injured and the cruiser’s airbag did not deploy. No one was in the school at the time of the accident.

Besides what Lang described as “significant structural to the school,” the cruiser — one of the department’s brand new Chevrolets — also sustained “significant” damage, according to a police report. One source said it was
damaged beyond repair.

Lang said it will be a couple weeks before he’s able to determine repair and replacement costs. “We’re talking thousands and thousands of dollars,” Land said. “Not just a couple hundred bucks.”