THOMASVILLE, N.C. — The Thomasville police officer who crashed into a local high school swerved to try to miss a dog, according to a statement by the Thomasville City Manager’s Office.
Officials released their findings Monday after they said they investigated what caused the wreck at Thomasville High School shortly before 2 a.m. on Sept. 4.
The report said Officer Jonathon Regan had just left a call on Midland Ave. when he swerved to miss a “large, brown dog” that walked into the middle of Thomasville High Drive.
Authorities said Regan’s patrol car ran off the right side of the road at about 40 mph and crossed over a patch of wet grass. The patrol car stopped after striking the building at a speed of approximately 29 mph, according to the report.
Officials said evidence showed that during the accident, the vehicles shotgun came loose from its overhead mount, striking Regan in the back of the head. Authorities said the officer suffered a contusion during the accident.
Multiple surveillance cameras captured the accident and did not show a dog. However, investigators did find a dog matching the officer’s description at a nearby home on Unity Street.
An inspection of the officer’s patrol car revealed there was no maintenance or mechanical problems before the accident. The vehicles brake, throttle and tires were checked and were in proper working order
Regan completed a medical screening after the accident and was cleared for duty.
Regan will be assigned as desk officer and to downtown foot patrols until he has completed a remedial low speed driving course, according to the report.
Police said all officers operating patrol cars with the same type of shield separating the front and back compartments of the car will be instructed to keep the sliding window closed when the vehicle is in operation.