Officers cope with motorist mayhem at crash

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MILTON-FREEWATER — Failure to heed police warnings at the site of a car-pedestrian accident caused another crash Tuesday when a man allegedly driving under the influence rear-ended a patrol car stopped with its emergency lights blazing.

Milton-Freewater Police Chief Doeg Boedigheimer said motorists had been warned to slow down when passing the site where Mary Virginia Johnston, 70, was struck by a motorist near Century 21 Realty just after 5 p.m.

But as emergency crews attempted to aid Johnston, a 1993 Oldsmobile driven by 73-year-old William Tindol Jr. crashed into a police cruiser.

Tindol, who was not injured, was arrested on investigation of driving while intoxicated. But Boedigheimer stated in a news release that Tindol wasn’t the only motorist he was dismayed about.

“While multiple officers and EMS personnel were on scene with several patrol vehicles displaying overwhelimg LED police lighting ... drivers in the area on South Main were not slowing down,” Boedigheimer said in a news release. “This made a dangerous situation even more dangerous.”

Johnston was transported to Providence St. Mary Medical Center with a possible hip fracture. Information on her condition was unavailable at press time.

Boedigheimer said a vehicle driven by Jean Marie Peterson, 69, of Milton-Freewater was traveling at roughly 20 mph when it struck Johnston. Boedigheimer said Peterson has not been cited and police are continuing a follow-up investigation.

“Sometimes an accident is just that, an unfortunate accident,” Boedigheimer said.

Luke Hegdal can be reached at lukehegdal@wwub.com or 526-8326.

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