Washington police officer, delivery driver injured in crash

March 18, 2014

A Washington police sergeant and a pizza delivery driver were injured early Sunday when their vehicles collided at the intersection of Maiden and South Main streets.

Sgt. Michael Sulerud was en route to a call with his emergency lights and sirens activated traveling east on West Maiden at 12:34 a.m. Delivery driver Ryan Dritt, 23, of 139 Brook Ave., Washington, was sitting in the left turn lane of South Main facing south waiting for the signal to turn green.

City police said as Sulerud approached the intersection with Main, the left turn arrow turned green and Dritt started to make the turn. Sulerud hit Dritt’s vehicle on the passenger side. The cruiser then spun into the traffic signal pole at the corner. Dritt’s vehicle came to rest against the curb.

City police Capt. Robert Wilson said Sulerud was flown to UPMC-Presbyterian hospital in Pittsburgh for treatment of a deep laceration to his head and a cut artery, also in his head. He underwent surgery Sunday morning and was released later that day.

Dritt was taken by ambulance to the same hospital. Wilson did not know the extent of his injuries.

Wilson said the crash is being investigated by state police crash reconstruction unit. Wilson said it is unclear whether Sulerud had a green light as he approached the intersection.

Assisting at the scene in addition to state police were officers from North Franklin and South Strabane townships, city firefighters and Ambulance and Chair Service personnel.

Kathie O. Warco has covered the police beat and transportation for the Observer-Reporter for more than 25 years. She graduated from Duquesne University with a degree in journalism.

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