Man killed in crash with Norfolk police cruiser

Photo Courtesy WAVY Matt Gregory

NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — An accident Saturday night involving a Norfolk police cruiser left one man dead, and an officer with serious injuries.

Investigators say the cruiser slammed into a Toyota Prius at the intersection of Hampton Boulevard and Surry Crescent while on the way to a crime scene just after 10 p.m.

Police say the driver of the Prius, 79-year-old Robert E. Crittsinger Jr., died at the scene.

“The impact was very loud. It seems like it shook the house to the point where you brace yourself like, ‘is something about to come through the house?” said Robert Shannon, who lives nearby. “It sounded like a big large pop.”

The police officer was traveling south on Hampton Boulevard, when police say Crittsinger pulled out from Surrey Crescent and collided with the patrol car.

Shannon says he and his wife rushed to help.

“The cop was talking, but all of his airbags were inflated,” said Shannon. “It was hard to see him. He said he thought his leg was broken.”

Shannon says the police officer told him to worry about Crittsinger, who was trapped inside his car and unresponsive.

“It makes you think about life and how quickly it can change,” said Shannon.

The officer was taken to the hospital with serious injuries. Police tell he is expected to recover.

The officer was responding to a call about gunshots on Graydon Avenue, and had the cruiser’s lights and sirens on when the crash happened, according to Officer Daniel Hudson, a spokesperson with the Norfolk Police Department.

Hudson said Sunday morning the officer was doing better, but would be out of work for some time.

The department’s traffic fatality team is investigating the crash, according to Hudson. The Commonwealth Attorney’s Office will review the findings once the investigation is complete.

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