Local News

Sheriff: Mistake likely caused crash involving police officers, deputy

Posted February 8

— The North Carolina State Highway Patrol has not yet said what caused two Durham police officers and a Durham County sheriff’s deputy to crash on a rural Bahama road Tuesday, but the sheriff said it was likely a mistake.

According to the Highway Patrol, a 2013 Harley-Davidson motorcycle driven by Deputy Paul Aiken was traveling north on South Lowell Road when Aiken lost control, traveled off the road and struck a ditch.

As a result of Aiken's crash, Officer Larry Cox, who was also operating a 2013 Harley-Davidson, traveled off the road, struck a ditch and overturned. Officer Francisco Miguel DeVera-Rodriguez, who was operating a 2015 Harley-Davidson, traveled onto the northbound shoulder, struck a utility pole support wire and overturned.

According to Sheriff Michael Andrews, the officers and the deputy involved had recently concluded a funeral escort and were practicing their formations.

"(Aiken's) front tire went off the side of the road, and he tried to bring it back on the road, and it got into loose gravel," Andrews said. "The bike took him for a ride."

The three men were taken to Duke University Hospital for treatment. Aiken and Cox sustained minor injuries, and DeVera-Rodriguez suffered serious but non-life-threatening injuries, authorities said.

DeVera-Rodriquez remained in the hospital, but Cox and Aiken were released Tuesday.

"We hurt for all of them. I'll be honest with you, I know these men, and I know their compassion and their love for what they do and what they provide for the citizens," Andrews said.

Andrews said the three men are eager to get back to their work and to continue to do the jobs they love.

Investigators with the Highway Patrol are working to attempt to identify the cause of the initial crash.


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  • Jim Dunn Feb 9, 2017
    user avatar

    Had the same accident myself back in 1990. It clear from where the bikes stopped that all three were driving way too fast and definitely over the speed limit. All three were thrown to the outside of a tight curve.

    That being said, I hope the injuries are minor and the men will return to work soon a little wiser. When you only have 2 wheels, there's little room for mistakes.

  • Greg Magnus Feb 9, 2017
    user avatar

    Yeah, the mistake was that they were SPEEDING on an urban road and did not realize how fast the corner was coming up and lost control. These officers need to be cited just as John Q Public would be! These officers put themselves and the public at risk, not to mention damaging or destroying equipment paid for by tax payer dollars! Hold these officers responsible for driving so recklessly.