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2 Durham Police Officers Injured in Crash with Tractor Trailer

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DURHAM — Two Durham Police officers were taken to the hospital after a wreck around 9:30 Thursday morning at the intersection of Phelps and Avondale roads.

The tractor trailer was driving down Phelps; the police cruiser was driving down Avondale when it was struck by the truck. The truck driver told officers that he did not see the police car.

Field Training Officer Jay Swilley was driving the police car. Rookie officer J.R. Broadwell, the passenger, was pinned in the wrecked cruiser. A tow truck had to pull the police car out from under the tractor trailer.

Both officers were taken to the hospital with multiple injuries. Both were alert and talking.

Broadwell and Swilley were treated and released.

Shortly after the accident, another patrol car wrecked a few blocks away. The officer in that car, who was uninjured, was speeding to get to the scene of the first crash.

Police officers turned out at the scene to show their support.

"Any time one of our officers is involved in an accident, in any type of tragic situation, we are greatly concerned about his welfare, and the welfare of the citizens as well," says Durham Police Capt. Dwight Pettiford.

"We realize that there are certain risks that are involved in our job, but we don't want to be injured," Pettiford says.

The police have charged Marty Hubbard, the truck driver, with failure to see before starting. When WRAL questioned Hubbard, he said "I have no comment on the accident. I just got a job to do, that's all I'm doing."

Durham police wrecked seven cars in all last year. Already this year, four cruisers have been totalled.