Only on 8: Police admit officer made a mistake but said protocol was followed

CLEARWATER, Fla. (WFLA) – A cop crash was caught on camera from several different viewpoints – and only News Channel 8 obtained the videos for you to see.

Police were trying to follow a man suspected of putting peoples’ lives at risk, but one officer may have made a mistake that landed an innocent victim in the hospital. The officer ran a red light without his lights or sirens on.

The convicted felon, Darrell Terrell Currington, 33, of Clearwater, went on a reckless run from the law, according to the Clearwater Police Department. But, officers say there was never a police chase or pursuit. Police say they followed protocol. But video shows one officer running a red light. As a result, an innocent victim was involved in a crash and later taken to the hospital. Police have admitted that was a mistake.

Police did stress all internal protocols were followed.

It was a dangerous drive. One camera shows the suspect’s car – going 62 mph in a 30 mph zone in Downtown Clearwater – blow through a red light. It’s at that same intersection where, seconds later, a Clearwater police office sees the car and pulls into a gas station at that corner.

The officer made a U-turn and followed Currington, only, officers say, to run that same red light and then get hit by the victim’s car.

Exclusive video obtained by News Channel 8 shows the victim lying on the ground as a bystander yells, “But, don’t move. Please man, just don’t move.”

“But obviously the officer had run the red light,” Clearwater Police Department spokesman Rob Shaw said.

Police told News Channel 8 the officer didn’t violate department policies but did make a mistake.

“So nobody ever pursued him or chased him because that would only make a bad situation worse,” Shaw said.

The reckless ride began well before the suspect ran the red light. It’s miles away on Clearwater Beach that police try to stop Currington for a possible DUI. When he took off, an officer alerted another cop down the road.

During that time, Currington darted in and out of traffic, and at some points drove on the curb.

“The streets are packed,” Shaw said. “The sidewalks are packed, not a good time to be driving on the sidewalk.”

Police put down stop sticks, but even those didn’t stop Currington as he sped over the Causeway at more than 100 mph – with his left two tires nearly flat.

“Witnesses who saw him say he was driving like a manic,” Shaw said.

Currington’s ride came to an end a few blocks after he blew the red light, as he wrapped his car around a tree. He was taken to the hospital in critical condition. He was then taken to the Pinellas County Jail.

This isn’t Currington’s first run-in with the law. In the last decade he’s been charged with trying to get away from police six times.

As for the officer involved in the accident, Clearwater police have an accident review board that scrutinizes every incident. Those results will be available within the month.

Video Courtesy: Josh Scuddy | YouTube: Infinitelife | @Infinitelife750.


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