Wenner says wait for new cruiser is about 3 to 4 months

Bob Wenner

Sugarcreek police don't expect to have a new police cruiser for at least about "three to four months" to replace the one that was totaled in an accident last month, according to police Chief Bob Wenner.

Wenner said the accident, which was investigated by Franklin state police, occurred on the evening of June 20, when the cruiser, a 2017 Ford Explorer, was "rear-ended" during a rainstorm while on "routine patrol" at Front Street and Rocky Grove Avenue.

"One of the patrol units was turning into the driveway of the church lot on Front Street," Wenner said. "The operator of the other vehicle came around the bend on Front Street, and his vehicle hydroplaned when it came around the bend and rear-ended the cruiser.

"The other unit was at fault and we're just waiting (for insurance settlement) to purchase (a new cruiser.)"

Wenner said part of the wait before a new cruiser can be put into service is due to the need for the vehicle to be tailored with equipment for police duty.

"Police cars don't just sit on lots," Wenner said. "The 2020s won't be in until the end of August or September, and then it has to be outfitted."

As a result of the accident, Wenner said, Patrolman Matthew Johnson, 42, of Franklin, was "treated for symptoms of whiplash."

Johnson was transported to UPMC Northwest for treatment, according to a report from state police.

The 18-year-old driver of the other vehicle involved in the accident, a 2014 Ford Fusion, and his 17-year-old passenger were not injured, the state police report said. Both are from Corry.

Both vehicles were inoperable and were towed from the scene, according to the state police report.

Assisting at the scene were Rocky Grove Fire Department and Community Ambulance Service, the state police report said.

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