STAFF WRITER CONNIE SWINNEY
BERTRAM — A police officer is recovering from injuries after a van collided with his patrol unit while he was inside during a traffic stop June 24 on Texas 29, Bertram Police Department officials said.
Officer James Threadgill, driving a 2014 Ford Explorer police car, had stopped a compact car on the side of the road just before 10 p.m. in the 500 block of the highway when the incident occurred.
“He was in the process of writing a citation,” Bertram Police Chief J.J. Wilson said. “(The officer) got back into his car.
“An elderly driver basically got confused by the lights,” he added. “She rear-ended him and pushed him into the car in front of him.”
The unidentified van driver, believed to be in her 70s, was traveling about 40-50 mph, Wilson said.
“She wasn’t speeding, but for whatever reason, she didn’t yield to the police car,” he said.
Threadgill was transported to Seton Medical Center Williamson in Round Rock, where he was treated for a possible head injury, bruised ribs, and injured knees.
He was released the following day.
“He’s going to be OK,” Wilson said. “The doctor is going to release him back to work soon.”
The driver of the van was taken to Seton Highland Lakes in Burnet by ambulance, treated for cuts and bruises, and released the following day.
The driver of the stopped car declined medical treatment and was released at the scene, the chief said.
The Texas Department of Public Safety, the investigating agency, charged the van driver with failure to yield to an emergency vehicle, a class B misdemeanor.
State law requires drivers to move to the far left lane and/or slow down if law enforcement, first responders, or state construction vehicles are displaying emergency lights and stopped on the roadside.
Traffic was delayed about an hour and a half while crews cleared the scene.