A Cranston police officer and a Vermont man were taken to Rhode Island Hospital with minor injuries following an early-morning accident at the intersection of Park and Reservoir avenues, according to Cranston Police Maj. Robert Ryan.
The incident occurred just before 6:30 a.m. Monday. Ryan said Cranston Police Traffic Investigator Peter Leclerc determined the Cranston officer – who was not identified – was traveling west on Park Avenue at the time, with the cruiser’s lights on and sirens activated as she responded to a report of a fire on Mathewson Street.
Independent witnesses said the officer had the green light as she approached the intersection, Ryan said, and that the cruiser slowed down to ensure there was no oncoming traffic.
Meanwhile, the other vehicle, a silver Chrysler Cirrus, was traveling south in the right-hand lane of Reservoir Avenue. A truck had slowed and stopped in front of the vehicle to make a right turn, according to the major, so the operator switched into the left lane to continue through the intersection.
“It appears as if the operator of the Chrysler was distracted by the truck on his right that had stopped in front of him as he proceeded through the intersection,” Ryan said. “Both independent witnesses stated that the stop signal for southbound and northbound traffic at that time was red and that the southbound Chrysler entered the intersection coming into contact with the westbound police cruiser that had the green light in its favor.”
Both operators were treated and released at the hospital, Ryan said, while both vehicles were heavily damaged.
Based on the investigation, Ryan said the operator of the Chrysler – identified as Aaron Lambert, 24, of Ludlow, Vt. – was cited for failure to yield the right of way to an emergency vehicle and failure to obey a traffic control signal.