Local News

Durham Police Officer Injured While Investigating Wreck

Posted October 1, 2002 8:40 a.m. EDT

— A Durham police officer was injured early Monday when a man charged with drunken driving struck his patrol car on Interstate 85.

Durham police said Officer James Wall, 34, suffered head, hip and back injuries after being hit by a vehicle at 4:10 a.m. Wall is being treated at Duke Medical Center where he is listed in good condition.

The officer was in his patrol car, which was parked behind a fire truck in the left southbound lane of Interstate 85 near the Duke Street exit while officers investigated an accident involving a car overturned in the median.

Investigators said the patrol car's overhead lights were flashing and traffic was being routed into the right lane.

Police said a 1995 Chrysler driven by Nakia Toriano Alston, 28, crashed into the back of Wall's patrol car, causing the cruiser to spin around. Traffic investigators estimated that the Chrysler was going at least 65 miles per hour when it struck the police cruiser. Alston was not injured.

Durham Police Investigator D.D. Frey II charged Alston with driving while impaired, careless and reckless driving and failure to reduce speed to avoid an accident. Bond was set at $3,500.

Alston's vehicle and Wall's 2000 Ford police cruiser were total losses.

The accident blocked traffic along Interstate 85 between Guess Road and Duke Street for more than an hour.