EPHRATA, Pa. (WHTM) – Police will not charge an Ephrata officer in a two-vehicle crash Monday night.
A 20-year-old borough woman was stopped on East Main Street as she waited to make a left turn onto Ridge Avenue and Sergeant Matthew Randolph struck her Dodge Durango from behind with his marked cruiser.
“We will not be filing a citation against our officer in this particular case,” Chief William L. Harvey said in a statement. “We ask our police officers to manage an astounding amount of incoming information as they keep us safe. They must operate the radio, watch traffic, look for criminal activity, run license plates, and read computer dispatch screens all at once. In this case, the officer was distracted as he checked a dispatch screen for an in-progress call for help. Sergeant Randolph is a 14-year veteran of this department with a stellar record. Although administrative action (a personnel matter) will be taken to hold the officer accountable, filing a citation in this case for a minor vehicle infraction is not in the best interest of public safety.”
The cruiser was traveling at a speed of 38 mph just before impact, police said.
The occupants of the woman’s SUV, including a young child, were examined at the scene. An adult passenger was released the next day after receiving treatment.
Randolph was treated at WellSpan Ephrata Community Hospital for hand pain and released.
Both vehicles were towed from the scene and the cruiser was a total loss. The woman’s vehicle is being taken care of through insurance.