Local News

Durham police cruiser overturns in wreck

Posted July 24, 2011

— A Durham officer was injured Sunday in a two-vehicle wreck in which his cruiser flipped over and struck a utility pole, police said.

Police spokeswoman Kammie Michaels said that a Chrysler PT Cruiser in the right, southbound lane of Vickers Avenue tried to make a left turn onto Proctor Street around 7:30 a.m. and struck a marked patrol car in the left, southbound lane of Vickers Avenue.

The cruiser hit a utility pole and overturned, she said. Officer C.W. Tidwell was trapped inside and had to be extricated by firefighters.

Tidwell was treated for non-life-threatening injuries and released from Duke University Hospital.

Michaels said the Chrysler driver – identified as Jose Rodolpho Lopez-Lopez, 35, of Seven Springs – ran from the wreck but later returned voluntarily. He was not injured.

Lopez was charged with felony hit-and-run, driving without a license and unsafe movement. He was placed in the Durham County jail under a $10,000 bond.

Michaels said that Tidwell joined the Durham police force in January 2008 and is assigned to the Patrol Bureau.


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  • whereisthedonkeyshow Jul 25, 2011

    Why are all these accidents as of late caused by southerners?

  • johnny2times Jul 25, 2011

    anywho, misery loves company so its good to see law enforcement is susceptible to bad drivers too. I wonder how that motorcycle cop that got hit in Cary is doing. Maybe one day they will be ready to do something about bad drivers for us?

    Are you serious?!!

    Can you be EVERYWHERE at the same time? NO instead of complaining, why don't you apply to be a police officer...go through an academy...pass field traning...pass your year probation period and get out there and try doing what officers, troopers and deputies do EVERYDAY...you would be surprised how many calls they all go on and most of them are not even anything law enforcement worthy of. Stick your money where your mouth is...stop complaining and DO SOMETHING about it if you have a problem..stop quarterbacking law enforcement when you and other citizens have NO IDEA what they go through on a daily basis.

  • pdolan6 Jul 25, 2011

    "It's a felony most likely because of the presence of alcohol." braddavis

    If alcohol is measured on the suspect's breath it is not automatically a felony. Death of a victim, leaving the scene of an accident after someone is injured, then felonious status can be considered.

  • pdolan6 Jul 25, 2011

    "The reason for a felony is that is considered assault on a public official which is a automatic felony" batricia1

    Wrong, it depends on the nature of the assault on the gov't official. If you hit a cop with your fist it is a misdemeanor, just sometimes a higher bond compared to a citizen. A car accident is not an "automatic felony" even if its a police officer and police car involved.

  • pdolan6 Jul 25, 2011

    "Hit a mother and children with your car and its a misdemeanor worse case. Hit a cop and suddenly charges jump to a felony and $10,000 bond. I bet the cop was speeding and not paying attention. Its interesting how law enforcement places more value on themselves than citizens." LocalYokel

    If an injury happens in an accident and you leave, NO MATTER WHO IT IS THAT IS HURT the person that ran committed a felony. Cops are not above the law, they enforce it. Some cops have lost their jobs for committing crimes and rightfully so. Please do some homework before subjecting us to your uneducated opinions.

  • pdolan6 Jul 25, 2011

    If a person gets convicted of DWI 4 times within 10 years in this state then the first three are misdemeanors and the 4TH is a felony as long as other people are not hurt. It ought to be a felony to drive without being a licensed driver. No matter how he drove he shouldn't have been on the road driving.

  • ProudBlackSingleMother Jul 25, 2011

    I do not understand why these southerners always get out of their cars and run when they have an accident.

  • BubbaDuke Jul 25, 2011

    Wonder who the car belonged to. I had a drunk driver hit me once. He had no license, was doing community service for 4 previous drunk driving accidents and was driving his sister's car. She let him use it even though she knew he had no license. After 4 continuances and learning that the most he'd get for leaving the scene of my accident was 30 days, I stopped showing up for the trials. The punishment is simply too light for drivers under the influence. After the second offense, dismemberment to prevent future driving is called for.

  • rrfan Jul 25, 2011

    A hit an run is a misdemeanor. A hit and run causing injury is a felony.

  • kikinc Jul 25, 2011

    Umm, LocalYokel, the guy who hit the cop made a left turn from the RIGHT lane. I think that basically screams negligent driving. Nor to mention fleeing the scene of any accident....yeah, if you hit a mother and child and then fled, you'd be hit with a felony, too. My first thought is that the guy was drunk. He fled the scene, and then went back later when he had sobered up a bit. Pure speculation on my part, though.