Local News

Injuries From Cruiser Crash Claim Rocky Mount Officer

Posted May 2, 2007 5:13 p.m. EDT
Updated May 2, 2007 10:29 p.m. EDT

— A Rocky Mount police officer died Wednesday of injuries he suffered Sunday in a fierce collision between his cruiser and a sport utility vehicle at a city intersection while he was answering a call about a robbery in progress, city officials said.

Police said Officer Alan Silver, 23, died at Pitt Memorial Hospital in Greenville, where he had been airlifted in critical condition late Sunday afternoon. Silver was pinned in his cruiser in the crash, and Rocky Mount firefighters had to use tools to break the car apart so they could get him out.

A city account of the crash, issued Wednesday, said Silver had the cruiser's lights flashing and siren sounding. he was driving north on Woodruff Street and a sport-utility vehicle was going east on Hunter Hill Road, police at the scene said Sunday. The crash occurred in front of the L&L convenience store and Exxon station where Woodruff Street turns into Winstead Avenue at Hunter Hill Road.

The city said police had received the robbery call from someone making a deposit at a Wachovia Bank branchy on Benvenue Road. They did not say if that call proved to be founded.

Police said Wednesday that no decisions had been made about filing any charges in the accident.

The driver of the SUV, Kenneth Hibbler, and his 11-year-old son were taken to nearby Nash Memorial Hospital, police said. Hibbler was treated and released. His son had minor injuries as well.

"I was just like, 'Oh, I hope he's okay,'" said witness Douglas Barfield. "I didn't see any movement at all in the car. And as they were cutting him out, you couldn't hear anything."

Silver had joined the department just over a year earlier. He was No. 1 in his police academy class and was the graduation speaker, the city said. He was one class short of receiving a bachelor's degree from East Carolina University, the city said.