WHITMAN — A male apparently suffering a medical emergency collided with a backhoe at an active construction site in Whitman Tuesday morning May 11.
The scene could have been much worse had it not been for Whitman Police Officer Christopher Lee who intervened as he worked the site detail — alerting workers as a car careened into the area — with National Grid workers at the trench side.
“The Whitman Police Department is extremely proud of the professionalism exhibited by all of the officers involved in this incident, and we are all thankful that a serious injury — or worse — was avoided,” said Chief Timothy Hanlon in a prepared statement.
Due in part to the officer’s quick thinking, no injuries were reported by any of the workers or officers on scene at the time of the crash.
Officers were working a detail assignment near 244 South Avenue/Route 27 in Whitman while Officer Lee stopped the westbound traffic.
He observed a male party slumped over the wheel of a gray Honda CRV that was approaching the scene, according to the police.
Lee commended all the officers on scene whom he said did “a great job” in a phone interview Tuesday afternoon.
The male driver did stop, he said, but then floored it and hit the front loader.
He believed that the driver was already suffering a medical emergency in his observations through the car window, Lee said.
“I yelled stop and luckily they heard and the other officers (Officer Kevin Shanteler and Officer Paul Young) began to yell — everyone was able to get out of the way. The car was only about 40 feet away. It was a matter of seconds,” said Officer Lee.
The three police officers on scene immediately began to render aid to the motorist and requested the Whitman Fire Department to the scene. The operator of the vehicle was transported to a local hospital by Whitman Ambulance with non-life threatening injuries, according to the release.
“This incident is proof that police officers provide an important level of safety and awareness while on the scene of a construction site such as this,” Chief Hanlon said.
Thankful that it all worked out, Lee said everyone was aware of their surroundings, which made all the difference in the positive outcome.