BRATENAHL -- Two police officers are hurt, one of them critically, after stopping to help a motorist on the Shoreway, setting off a dangerous chain of events.
That crash left the Shoreway east shut down for some time and created gridlock on surrounding streets.
At first, nothing made sense about the terrible accident. It was a beautiful spring day with lots of sunshine. The road was clear and dry.
It was two Bratenahl police officers doing their best to respond to a fairly minor chain reaction accident.
Moments later, both officers were crushed by a semi on the side of the Shoreway.
It all started when a white Jeep Cherokee blew out a tire on the front driver’s side.
The car veered into the dividing wall on the high-speed lane of the eastbound Shoreway, just before the Lakeshore Boulevard exit.
That’s when the driver of a red Ford pickup clipped the side of the Jeep, which left both vehicles leaning dangerously into the high-speed lane.
A blue Chevy Blazer from the Bratenahl Police Department pulled up moments later.
The two officers tried to use their car to shield the cars from oncoming traffic. It wasn’t enough for the driver of a big 18-wheeler.
The impact was brutal. The big rig crushed the back of the police SUV, driving it into the pickup truck. Victims had no chance to get out of the way.
A trauma team from MetroHealth Medical Center rushed to the scene on board life flight. The entire eastbound lane of the Shoreway shut down for the emergency landing.
The medical team quickly opened an airway for one of the injured officers, trying to stabilize his condition enough to get him to the operating room at Metro by chopper. His partner was taken to Huron Road Hospital.
Meanwhile, one by one, the other injured victims were taken by teams of EMTs to the waiting ambulances. One officer at MetroHealth Medical Center is critical condition.
He had just been sworn is a new police officer in Bratenahl just a few weeks ago. His partner, a sergeant, is listed in stable condition at Huron Road Hospital.
So far, the Bratenahl police haven’t released the names of the two officers.