Accidents happen, we are all guilty of a few and they are often unavoidable. However, there are instances were certain precautionary measures can be put in place the avoid the likelihood of an accident. Take the video below for example, a police officer from Miramichi Police Department was responding to an armed shoplifting call when he found himself at the tail end of a fairly significant motor vehicle accident.
According to reports, Constable Eric Pomerleau was driving his patrol car code-3 to a possibly armed shoplifting call when he was involved in a motor vehicle crash. His cruiser was traveling 132 km/h (82 mph) in a 60 km/h (37 mph) zone at the time of the accident. The constable was operating his patrol car on a two lane road in a fair populated environment. Traveling 45 mph over the speed limit in a residential/commercial neighborhood is just cruising for a bruising. One's ability to properly react to an unfolding situation is drastically reduced as corners and hill crests prevent the operator from seeing far enough ahead.
In this particular circumstance, the constable made a few critical errors, the most important one being passing on the right. It is known to the general public that you are supposed to pull over to the right when an emergency vehicle is approaching. Although there is a reality that most people fail to actual do this right away, there is still a good chance the action will take place at some point. Now, if traffic does not pull to the right, one should make every safe attempt to pass on the left before resorting to the right (at a drastically reduced speed). Unfortunately, Pomerleau did neither of these things. He saw the pickup truck was turning left and opted to go right, at a decent speed. The pickup then did an unpredictable move by quickly cutting right, most likely when just noticing the fast approaching patrol car. Seeing that the driver was not obeying normal traffic laws by failing to yield for an emergency vehicle, the cruiser's speed should have been drastically reduced to anticipate and react to the impending unpredictable situation.
The point of responding to an emergency is to mitigate a problem without further escalation and to protect the general public. Although Pomerleau had good intentions in his response, his actions resulted in an MVA. As stated in previous articles, one of the most important tasks in responding to an emergency is calming your nerves and finding the fine line between a safe and timely response. Hopefully this video can be used as a training tool to remind everyone that unpredictable actions can happen when responding to an emergency and it is the duty of the responder to safely react to them.
Constable Eric Pomerleau is undergoing trial at the Miramichi Provincial Court for alleged dangerous driving charges.