Courier Staff Writer
An Ottumwa police car slammed into a garbage truck Tuesday, sending the officer to the hospital.
Sgt. Rick Jones said the patrol officer, Josh Kobes, was responding to a call heading north on South McLean Street with his lights and sirens on at approximately 10:20 a.m. Tuesday.
“He entered into the intersection and made contact with a roll-off garbage truck,” Jones said.
The garbage truck was heading east in the left lane of West Main Street, driving through the intersection where eastbound traffic does not have to stop.
Lt. Tom McAndrew said Iowa State Patrol will be handling the case.
“We’ll have to talk to insurance companies and go from there,” McAndrew said in regard to damage to the vehicle and cost. “We have no real information on that yet. From the looks of it, it looks like it was totaled, but we don’t know for sure.”
McAndrew said the driver of the garbage truck did not sustain any injuries.
Kobes was taken to the emergency room to be checked out with non-life threatening injuries.
There are no downtown cameras in the area of the accident, and McAndrew said while there is video in each squad car, he’s not sure if the video system will work due to the extent of the damage.
In the OPD’s policy manual, it states: “When responding to an urgent or emergency call, an officer may, if necessary in pursuant to Chapter 321.231, proceed past a red stop light or stop sign. Before proceeding past any red stop light or stop sign, the officer will, in all cases, decrease speed to a point where it will be possible to stop or take evasive measures to avoid accidents.”
McAndrew said he does not now how fast Kobes was driving before the accident.
“It will be up to the Iowa State Patrol to determine that,” he said.
Note: In an earlier version of this story, it was noted that the police car was thrown into a nearby building. McAndrew said he “doesn’t know if the car even hit the building,” and the location of the car may simply be where it came to rest following the accident.