Police search for suspect in Keego patrol car hit-and-run
By Eric Czarnik
Posted February 27, 2013
KEEGO HARBOR — Keego Harbor police say they are pursuing clues and talking to an Orchard Lake family as part of an investigation surrounding a recent hit-and-run incident that damaged a police SUV.
According to Keego Harbor Police Chief Kenneth Hurst, the incident occurred Feb. 8, the night of a snowstorm. A Keego Harbor patrol officer was driving a police Chevy Tahoe and following a suspected drunken driver traveling southbound on Orchard Lake Road, near Commerce Road.
She followed the vehicle through the twists and turns around the lakes to choose a spot to pull over until the vehicles reached Pontiac Trail, police said. That’s when the pursued driver allegedly ran through a green-lit intersection, and when the officer followed, a black Lincoln MKT reportedly made an abrupt left turn in front of the patrol officer — leading to a collision, police said.
After an estimated 35 mph impact, the suspected drunken driver got away, and the MKT involved in the crash allegedly fled westbound on Pontiac Trail. Hurst said the police Tahoe suffered in the wreck.
“The patrol unit was pretty badly damaged,” Hurst said, citing an estimate of $5,800.
After seeing the MKT escape, police took down a vehicle description and alerted local police departments to be on the lookout for it. Police added that they recovered a Lincoln vehicle emblem and a “unique part” of the vehicle at the accident site.
Although West Bloomfield and Orchard Lake police reportedly couldn’t find the vehicle in the local neighborhoods, Hurst said a tip led police to an Orchard Lake home in the 4300 block of Cherry Hill — near the intersection of Pontiac Trail and Old Orchard Trail.
Hurst said police have questioned a resident at the home and have seized an MKT, which was at a Livonia collision shop. Hurst said an attorney for the resident’s family is working with them to bring about some sort of resolution.
Meanwhile, Keego police say they have been thorough with investigating and coordinating with the Oakland County Sheriff’s Office and the Orchard Lake Police Department on the case.
“We’re dotting the i’s and crossing the t’s on this,” he said.
Keego Harbor Mayor Sid Rubin commented on the reported hit-and-run. “It was an unusual situation and one that the officer had no control over,” he said. “But there was never any doubt in my mind that the chief would find the person or persons involved.”
Anyone with more information may call the Keego Harbor Police Department at (248) 682-3030.
About the author
Staff Writer Eric Czarnik reports on Sterling Heights and Utica Community Schools, and he writes a weekly auto column. He is a Wayne State University graduate who has been employed at C & G Newspapers since 2007.
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