No ticket for officer hurt running red light

A Charleston police officer will not be cited for running a red light and crashing into another vehicle while responding to a burglary-in-progress call, the S.C. Highway Patrol said Monday.

Officer Ian Lundell, 32, was "acting in the performance of his duties" when his patrol car went through the red light at Rutledge Avenue and Huger Street at 4:12 p.m. Sunday, Highway Patrol Sgt. Bob Beres said.

Beres said Lundell and another officer initially responded to the burglary call with lights and sirens but turned off the sirens as they got closer to the house.

The first patrol car crossed the intersection when the light was green, but Lundell crossed when it was red, striking a 2007 Subaru that was northbound on Huger Street, Beres said.

The driver of the Subaru and a 3-year-old passenger both were wearing seat belts and were not injured in the crash, Beres said.

Beres said Lundell, who was not wearing a seat belt, was taken to Roper Hospital. He has since been released, according to Charleston police spokesman Charles Francis.

State law requires all drivers to wear seat belts and Francis said officers are required to wear their seat belt and "corrective actions" are taken if any employee who drives a city owned vehicle doesn't wear one.

Beres said Lundell was shown as contributing to the wreck, but won't be cited.

The wreck is still under investigation.

The results of the investigation will determine if any departmental action will be taken against the officer, Francis said.

Department policy allows officers to turn off their sirens when they get close to a call in progress.

The officer did not have a dashboard camera in the vehicle, Francis said.

The city of Charleston has had 249 police-involved collisions since January 2013, according to police. Forty-one percent of those wrecks involved an officer's patrol car being struck by another driver, according to Francis.

The number of collisions involving law enforcement vehicles is on the decline statewide, according to data provided by the S.C. Department of Public Safety.

Since 2010, there have been 7,210 of those types of collisions, according to the data. There were 1,910 injuries and 28 fatalities.

About 15 percent of the collisions - 1,085 - involving law enforcement vehicles occurred in Charleston County.

There have been two fatalities since 2010 and 299 injuries involving these wrecks, according to the agency.

There have been fewer collisions in Berkeley County, which has had 259. There were 71 injuries and one fatality. In Dorchester County, there were 207 collisions since 2010 with 46 injuries, according to the data.

The numbers include both on-duty and off-duty law enforcement and are counted in the county where the collision occurred, not which agency the law enforcement vehicle belonged to, according to S.C. Department of Public Safety officials.

On average, less than 1 percent of all of the state's collisions involve law enforcement vehicles, officials said.