Starke officer, wife injured in accident


Published: Wednesday, January 26, 2005 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Tuesday, January 25, 2005 at 10:17 p.m.
An on-duty Starke police officer and his wife were injured Monday night when a semi struck the officer's car, the Starke Police Department in Bradford County reported.
The Florida Highway Patrol is investigating the crash involving Officer Tommy Murrow and a Tampa man driving a tractor-trailer, according to police. The accident occurred at State Road 100 and State Road 200 in southwestern section of the city at about 9:30 p.m.
A report about the crash was not immediately available from troopers Tuesday, FHP Lt. Bill Leeper said.
Starke Police Chief Gordon Smith said Murrow was driving his wife back to the Police Department when a semi ran a red light at the intersection and collided with the police car.
Both Murrow and his wife were treated and later released from Shands at AGH early Tuesday, Smith said.
Although Murrow is out of the hospital, the chief said it's unclear when he can return to work. The officer, who has been with the department for about three years, may require surgery because of injuries to his arm and shoulder, he said.
The truck's driver, Nathan Jerome Knieps, 48, and a passenger in the truck were not injured, Smith said.
Knieps, who tried to veer away and apply the truck's brakes once he saw the police car, is a truck driver trainee. Riding with him at the time of the crash was his trainer, Smith said.
Murrow's wife was riding with her husband as part of the department's ride-along program. It allows officers' spouses and other law enforcement officers to ride in officers' vehicles with Starke Police, Smith said. The couple had gone to dinner together, and Murrow was driving his wife back to the police station where her car was located when the crash occurred.
Those who participate in the ride-along program waive liability, Smith said.
Lise Fisher can be reached at (352) 374-5092 or fisherl@gvillesun.com.

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