An off-duty Sturgis police officer is the subject of a criminal investigation as a result of a drunk driving accident he is accused of causing. The accident occurred just outside of the village of Climax in Kalamazoo County.
Apparently the officer arrived at a local bar on a Saturday evening, intent on celebrating his 29th birthday. Nothing is known of his time spent in the bar, but a surveillance video of the area shows patrons leaving the bar shortly before 2:30 am.
Moments later, on the same video, it is possible to see a truck that matches the description of the officer’s personal 2006 Dodge Ram pulling out of the parking lot of the bar. Initially the truck heads south on 44th Street without headlights, but once the driver remembers to turn on the lights, the vehicle accelerates away at high speed.
Mere minutes later, Kalamazoo County Sheriff’s deputies are dispatched to a turn in the road about a mile away from the bar. According to media sources, the officer’s pick up truck crossed the center line and then crashed into the guardrail, ripping right through it. After impact, the truck was apparently airborne for a time, before landing on it’s side in a stand of trees.
Geraldine Wolf, the owner of the property where the vehicle ended up, didn’t witness the crash. However, the very next day she and her husband discovered the damage that had been done to their property during the accident. “Whoever was in that car was injured,” she says, “because they hit hard.”
The officer, whose name has not yet been released pending arraignment, sustained injuries in the crash, notably to his face, but was sufficiently unharmed to make it on foot to a nearby home and call for help.
Responding officers allegedly chose to do a blood draw to determine his BAC based on the beer cans present in his vehicle and the pungent smell of alcohol on his person. He was taken to a Kalamazoo area hospital to be treated for his injuries.
According to the most recent statement released by the Sturgis Police, the officer in question is now on paid administrative leave pending the outcome of the investigation. They have also said that they regret that one of their own officers made the choice that he did, and that he is aware there will be consequences as a result of it.