The father of a man injured on his ATV during a motor vehicle crash with a Frederick County sheriff’s cruiser is calling into question the police department’s version of what transpired on Saturday, May 23. According to news reports, a man from Mount Airy, MD, and his friends were riding their all-terrain vehicles along a stretch of Old National Pike Saturday.
The riders were reportedly spread across all lanes when a sheriff’s deputy had to brake and swerve to avoid hitting the ATVs. As a result, Christopher Hancock, 22, ended up striking the officer’s patrol car. Hancock was reportedly seriously hurt as a result. The young man’s father, Keith Hancock, says that according to his son the group was traveling in single file, not spread out as the police report maintains.
Furthermore, Hancock has told reporters that the group was only using the public roadway so that they could reach riding trails because the off-road route that they had planned to use was apparently too muddy. According to Hancock, his son remembers that the police car swerved in front of the group of ATVs in an apparent effort to make them stop.
As a result of the crash, Hancock was taken to Baltimore’s R Adams Cowley Shock Trauma center. Based on reports, the man received a variety of injuries including a compound leg fracture, multiple lacerations and head trauma. While doctors believe all of these injuries are non-life-threatening, they are nonetheless extensive and perhaps could have been avoided.
The order of events, as provided by the sheriff’s department, shows that deputies were dispatched to the stretch of Old National Pike near Mount Airy around 4pm in the afternoon after someone reported ATVs on the road. Based on police reports, Deputy First Class William Mosser was going westbound on Old National Pike near Sydney Road when he observed several ATVs approaching in the opposite direction and taking up both travel lanes.
Mosser stated that he tried to avoid a collision by braking and turning left. One of the three ATVs, Hancock’s vehicle, failed to stop and struck the cruiser’s front bumper and right quarter panel. The two other riders reportedly fled the area at reportedly “a high rate of speed.” Mosser said that he administered first aid until emergency medical personnel could arrive on the scene.
In an apparent counter to the deputy’s story, Hancock’s father told reporters that the deputy’s maneuver appeared to him to be an attempt to stop the riders, not avoid a collision as Mosser asserted. Hancock said that when he arrived at the scene, the deputy’s patrol car was entirely in the eastbound lane. He added that his son did not even have time to get his foot on the brake. The father likened the action to that of stopping bank robbers, not some fellows on all-terrain vehicles.
Hancock maintained that his son makes a point of avoiding main roads, which he apparently knows is illegal without proper registration, and that he typically takes extra precautions when he does have to travel on those roadways.
Man hospitalized after ATV, police cruiser collide, FrederickNewspost.com, May 24, 2011
ATV rider’s dad disputes police on Md. crash, WTOP.com, May 24, 2011