Officer injured in grinding crash

June 25, 2008 4:41:15 PM PDT
"He had a large gash across the back of his head." George Mickle is feeling grateful. His son, 38 year old Beverly police officer Shawn Mickle, was seriously injured in a terrible crash this morning. Though he's being operated on for 2 fractured knees, his dad says the officer's injuries are not life threatening.

"He knows he's been in an accident. He's aware of his surroundings, but he's very calm about it. That encourages me. He's responsive to everything you say," the officer's father said.

Mike Morton, Beverly's Director of Public Safety, says, "He's a great guy. He's a good cop. He's an older guy that came on a little bit later in life and he's just very good with the public."

The drama started just before 1:30 this morning when Edgewater park police attempted a traffic stop. A luxury Infinity SUV fled and authorities say a chase of that vehicle was suspended near the beverly border.

Ptl. Mickle was riding side streets looking for the car when it crashed into him at the intersection of Chestnut and Pine.

The officer's SUV flipped on its side and the other driver fled on foot from the scene.

Lawrence Nelson of Beverly came upon the scene. "I don't know how he could have got out because I saw both cars. It's a miracle either one of them got out of it."

Danielle Russell of Beverly watched the rescue. "They had to pull him out from the front of the SUV 'cause you couldn't get in from the side. The whole thing was smashed forward."

Ptl. Mickle, who's also a volunteer finrefighter, was airlifted to Cooper University Hospital for treatment. This tiny police force of just 7 officers is devastated the outgoing cop they call a gentle giant has been injured.

Sgt. Anthony Pearce summed it up. "Work very well together, very close to each other so when one of us gets hurt or even has a problem it affects all of us."

The entire incident was recorded by the dashboard camera of the Edgewater Park cruiser that continued following the Lexus into Beverly. Investigators will be reviewing the pursuit to see if it meets guidelines. The police director in Beverly is emphatic that Officer Mickle wasn't chasing the car when the crash occurred.

"He was not in pursuit of the vehicle whatsoever."