Local News

Raleigh police officer cited for running red light

Posted May 6, 2010 10:32 a.m. EDT
Updated May 6, 2010 6:31 p.m. EDT

— Raleigh police cited an officer for running a red light before a wreck in downtown Raleigh Wednesday.

Jose Miguel Rios Jr., 35, was driving a police cruiser east on Martin Street around 8:30 a.m. when he ran a red light and collided with a 2008 Nissan Sentra that was southbound on Blount Street, according to the wreck report.

Police said Rios, who was not injured, was not responding to a call.

"He just ran the red light," said Kelvin Morrison, who was in the Sentra. "There were no signs, nothing, warning us of him coming."

Morrison, 26, suffered a sprained arm; his wife Danielle Morrison, 19, suffered bruises. The couple's 20-month-old son, Jayden, was not injured.

The three were taken to a local hospital as a precaution.

Rios, who received a citation for a red-light violation, told the investigating officer that the sunlight blinded him and that he assumed the light was still green, according to the report.

Both vehicles were going 30 mph at the time of impact.

The front end of the police cruiser was torn off, and the Morrisons said their car is irreparable.

"He got out of the car and admitted he ran the light, and that was the extent of him talking to us," Kelvin Morrison said. "Everything else has been through his sergeant."

"When a police officer is involved (in a wreck), I would expect the police officer to say, 'I'm sorry,'" Danielle Morrison said.

Rios' supervising officer did offer an apology to the family and provided the city's insurance information.

A Raleigh police spokesman declined to comment on the wreck but said the department is working with the insurance company to help the Morrison family get a rental car.

The wreck couldn't have come at a worse time, the Morrisons said. Both are out of work and in transitional housing.

The Durham Interfaith Hospitality Network is helping them with meals and shelter while they look for jobs.

"We are a very strong family, and we have love," Danielle Morrison said. "We have love, so we'll make it through."