By DEUCE NIVEN
Several people sustained apparently minor injuries in a three-vehicle crash involving a Tabor City Police Department patrol vehicle Friday afternoon.
Officer Justin McKeithan and at least one other person were taken to McLeod Loris hospital following the 1:30 p.m. incident on US 701 Bypass at Complex Street.
Maj. Russell Conway and Capt. Christopher Hilburn said McKeithan was complaining of a leg injury following the crash, but was talking and alert.
Note: A previous version of this story listed Capt. Hilburn’s last name incorrectly.
Others in a car and in a pick-up truck towing a trailer with law care equipment were seen by responders from Tabor City Emergency Services and Fair Bluff Fire/Rescue.
Damage was heaviest to the TCPD Chevrolet Tahoe and to the sedan involved. The front passenger side wheel of the Tahoe was ripped from the vehicle. Police and members of the Tabor City Fire Department were unable to locate it, with theories including that it might have bounced into a nearby corn field and disappeared between the stalks.
Also ripped from the vehicle, bur remaining with it, was the driver side front tire from the sedan.
Damage to the Dodge Ram truck appeared much less severe, and apparently resulted from the sedan striking the driver side of the truck.
While the truck appeared drivable, a wrecker was called to collect the trailer, which had damage to its wheels and axel.
In what is standard practice by the department when an officer is involved in an auto incident, the North Carolina Highway Patrol is asked to investigate. Three troopers responded.
Look for additional details here as events warrant, and in the next Tabor-Loris Tribune in print and online.