Noble Co. Chief Deputy reflects on wreck statistics after one of his own wrecks

NOBLE COUNTY, Ind. (WANE) – Single vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death of police officers. One Noble County Sheriff’s Deputy got lucky after he totaled his car.

Deputy Kyle Hartman was treated for minor injuries after the wreck and is now back out on patrol. The Sheriff’s Office is using it as a learning experience for all its deputies.

Chief Deputy Chad Willett said Hartman was following another deputy to a medical run when a deer crossed in front of the leading squad car.

“That officer immediately started to break to avoid hitting the deer,” Willett said. “As he did he noticed this vehicle was approaching him quickly from behind.”

The deputy in front went to the left, and Hartman went to the right, hit a cement embankment and flipped his car.

“It’s a total loss,” Willett said.

An investigation showed Hartman was following too closely behind the other deputy.

“Indications through the investigation would show he is at fault,” Willett said. “It’s a single-vehicle crash. He was the one operating the vehicle so he was obviously at fault. He will not receive a citation.”

A study published in Sheriff and Deputy magazine says 62-percent of fatal crashes involving officers are single-vehicle making them the leading cause of death of police officers. One factor makes them so deadly.

“A leading cause of that also is seat belt usage,” Willett said. “Officers get in a hurry to try to get to where they are going to go and they may not have put on a seat belt. That’s a critical point for us.”

To replace just the car it will cost about $23,000. However, to outfit it with police equipment will tack on another $10,000-$20,000.

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