NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — Two Norfolk Police officers are recovering after being injured in a crash on Llewellyn Ave. early Monday morning.
Police say, shortly after 4:30 a.m., Officers Joshua Miller and Ademola Titcombe were responding to assist in a call for shots fired in the area of Debree Avenue and W. 33rd Street when their vehicle overturned.
10 On Your Side learned a lot about the incident from scanner traffic that showed how desperate the situation was trying to get help for officers. These are excerpts from what we heard: An officer says, “Pursuit.” Someone is then heard asking, “What’s your speed?” There is no answer, then this, “He wrecked out, he wrecked out.” A short time later, “One is in the ditch. Upside down. Officer down. Code Green. Code Green,” frantic traffic across the scanner is heard. Code Green indicates officer down or officer unresponsive.
The police car overturned in the 3900 block of Llewellyn Avenue. Titcombe was able to free himself after the accident and exited the car prior to emergency responders arriving on scene. Rescue crews worked for more than an hour to free Miller from the car.
Both officers were taken to Sentara Norfolk General Hospital and are being treated for serious injuries. They are listed in stable condition.
Miller has been an officer for two years, joining the Norfolk Police Department in September 2013 and Titcombe has been with the Norfolk Police Department for approximately three years, joining the department in July 2012.
Cpl. Melinda Wray confirmed both officers had on their seat belts at the time of the crash.
Eyewitness Teresa Wells told WAVYs not only did she see the crash, she thinks police may have been trying to avoid her and other drivers. “I pulled over to the right side of the road and saw a tan color vehicle pass me then a number of police officers coming my direction.”
The officers’ car flipped coming to rest just out of water at the Colonial Place Playground. It took Norfolk Fire Rescue an hour to extract officer Miller from the car. “He is so lucky, because the patrol car was just feet from being upside down in standing water.”
According to Norfolk’s initiating pursuit policy, “Pursuits should never be continued where an unreasonable risk of injury or death exists.” Police Spokesperson Cpl. Wray says, “Information is provided to the monitoring supervisor. It’s typical these things are followed: Speed of the patrol car, whether there is pedestrian traffic, whether there is vehicular traffic. Whether there is reason for the actual stop, and other information, whether the pursuit should be maintained or cut off…and whether this was a proper pursuit is still under investigation and our investigative division is doing their preliminary investigation determining whether the proper guidelines and procedures were properly followed.”
Authorities said the circumstances surrounding the crash are under investigation. In accordance with departmental protocol, an administrative investigation will be conducted to ensure the officers followed proper policy and procedure. The Norfolk Police Department’s general order and guidelines monitoring the operation of police vehicles can be found here.