Local News

Questions Remain in Death of Durham Police Officer

Posted February 21, 2007

— Authorities have released more details of a wreck that claimed the life of a Durham police officer, but they have not been able to determine the cause.

According to investigators, Officer Charles Callemyn was driving west on Holloway Street early Saturday morning when something caused him to swerve abruptly to the left and head into the eastbound lanes. Authorities said the police cruiser started to slide and turn clockwise into the westbound lanes.

Investigators said the cruiser then hit a concrete bridge pillar, killing Callemyn instantly. The initial investigation suggests Callemyn's cruiser was going approximately 60 miles an hour when the accident occurred.

Durham police said the cruiser's in-car camera was working earlier in the evening, but failed to work at the time the incident occurred.

A representative with the company that manufactured the camera has been unable to retrieve any data or determine if the camera malfunctioned.

Durham police said Callemyn had not been in any prior vehicle accidents as a Durham officer and had a clean driving record.


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  • latanya512 Feb 21, 2007

    I totally agree. Too many people are dying young. I pray for the family of all the victims we have read about recently. The familys that are suffering because the accused are getting off easy, and the families of some of the criminals because they did nothing wrong and people are still ridiculing them.

  • kr Feb 21, 2007

    praying for the family.

  • this is my Screen Name Feb 21, 2007

    My prayers are with the family and friends in the loss of this man they loved.

  • narck9 Feb 21, 2007

    I currently have an in car camera in my patrol vehicle. I have had more problems with the peice of crap than I care to deal with. I doesn't work most of the time. I have taken the camera in several times and it still needs repair. At one point I had to have a brand new system installed to replace the old one. Now with this new camera that I have it will just start recording w/out doing anything. Sometimes it will not record when I need it too. They are not worth the money and they are not reliable.

  • LifeAsASuffix Feb 21, 2007

    I used to install those in-car camera systems for WCSO, they are always recording, but like a DVR they don't save all the information. They begin to record 30 sec before the Bar lights are turned on, or when the siren is activated. They can be set to record all the time, but not all of them do. Some even record when the airbags are deployed, but not all are setup to do that. If the siren was never activated, or the lights not turned on, the system may have never saved the incident on the HDD. They always seem to work when someone is being pulled because that's what they're designed to do.

  • kaecee Feb 21, 2007

    thrasher3, I agree with you. Someone is missing this individual. It still shocks me to read the comments of individuals on this site to see how cruel people can be. Speeding or driving the speed limit, accidents happen. Who knows the reason behind the crash. It may have just been his time to leave this earth. Point blank. My heart goes out to his family, friends, and co-workers who are going to miss him. I, too, lost a relative in an accident and it's not an easy ordeal to live through.

  • thrasher3 Feb 21, 2007

    You are right... Regardless of what happened, what didnt work, IF he was speeding or not..... There is still a wife with no husband, children with no father, and parents without a son..... I could care less if he was a garbage collector, a police, or just a receptionist..... It doesnt make it hurt any less for the family and this should be a support board for that family.....

  • owlady Feb 21, 2007

    hey, it could have been intentional. An friend of mine had this type of crash during a nervous breakdown. She survived. My heart goes out to the family.

  • thrasher3 Feb 21, 2007

    His tape was probably full from talking to ignorant people that he had stopped earlier in the night.... at 1am, beside a highway is not a place to be debating who is right.... that is why you get a court date....


    You know that camera would be working if he pulled over somebody, but their always seems to be a problem when a cop is involved!!!