Updated: City corrects information it released on crash; driver survives
Editor's note: Champaign police issued the following news release on Saturday afternoon, July 26, 2014:
CORRECTION TO TRAFFIC CRASH INVESTIGATION PRESS RELEASE
(Bradley Avenue and Walnut Street)
The Champaign Police Department inadvertently erred yesterday evening in releasing information that the driver of the suspect vehicle was deceased after fleeing from police and getting into an accident at Bradley and Walnut. The driver is alive and still receiving treatment. The Police Department regrets releasing incorrect information. The Police Department is examining why this error occurred, and is determining what steps will be taken in the future to keep this from occurring in the future.
This story has been updated to reflect the police department's correction:
CHAMPAIGN — A driver who police say tried to elude a traffic stop was injured after hitting a utility pole early Friday morning.
According to a Champaign police press release, some time before 12:40 a.m., an officer tried to pull over a vehicle on Garden Hills Drive just north of Bradley Avenue after the officer found that the registered owner of the vehicle had a suspended driver's license. The vehicle sped up, and the officer shut off his lights and sirens and abandoned the traffic stop.
The vehicle nearly hit a second officer on Hedge Road, according to the press release. That officer never tried to stop the vehicle.
Not long after, the car hit a utility pole at the intersection of Bradley Avenue and Walnut Street. A passenger got out of the vehicle and was later found in the 1200 block of Walnut Street. The driver was still in the car.
Officers administered first aid at the scene until paramedics arrived. The driver was taken to the hospital.
Champaign police Deputy Chief Troy Daniels said the passenger was examined and released by ambulance personnel at the scene.
The officer had observed the two men in the car switch seats prior to attempting the traffic stop, so the passenger was issued a citation for driving with a revoked license, Daniels said.