Bicyclist, officer identified following New London crash - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Bicyclist, officer identified following New London crash

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Emergency crews were called to a crash involving a bike on Sunday (WFSB) Emergency crews were called to a crash involving a bike on Sunday (WFSB)

A bicyclist is recovering after being hit by a New London police cruiser on Sunday afternoon.

It happened on Hempstead Street on Sunday afternoon, just before 4 p.m.

Police said the cruiser, driven by 35-year-old Officer Jeffrey Nichols, was heading to another call when the crash happened. He had his lights and sirens activated as he approached the intersection of Hempstead and Thompson Court.

The bike rider was identified as 41-year-old Christopher Quindale Petteway. He was taken to Yale-New Haven Hospital with what was described as life-threatening injuries, however a friend told Eyewitness News he is doing much better on Monday.

"You just don't know, you just don't know ... he was supposed to go out for an after Easter dinner ride, and we were going to get ice cream and I never heard from him. The next thing I knew, I was getting a call that he had been taken by LIFE STAR from L and M to Yale-New Haven. He got surgery, I spent the evening there, I was with him last night, he's alert and doing better this morning," said Robert Parise, the victim's friend.

Nichols was not hurt.

"Based on the totality of the circumstances, the severity of the injuries, we contacted the State's Attorney's Office for the New London court system and determined the state police will be handling the motor vehicle accident investigation," said New London acting police Chief Peter Reichard.

According to troopers, Nichols had been traveling northbound on Hempstead Street and approached Thompson Court. Petteway was riding south on Hempstead Street.

Within the northbound portion of the street, state police said an "off-set frontal type collision" happened.

Michael Brown was driving down Hempstead Street on Sunday when he noticed part of the road was blocked off as part of a police investigation. 

"My heart goes out to the bicyclist and his family,” Brown said.

The police chief said cruisers are equipped with an on-board camera system, so troopers will be able to review that footage to see what unfolded.

Nichols' New London police cruiser had a damaged windshield near Petteway's bike at the scene on Sunday. He has been with the department for nearly 10 years.

Anyone who witnessed the crash is asked to contact state police at 203-630-8085.

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