PECULIAR, Mo. – Missouri State Troopers say distracted driving was a possible cause for a bicyclist being struck by a Peculiar police officer Thursday evening.
The collision happened about 6:20 p.m. at 211th Street and Missouri Highway J.
Cyclist Joe Fasanello was waiting at a stop sign when Officer Charles Wallace took a sharp turn in his department-issued SUV and hit him head-on. His GoPro camera on his helmet caught the whole wreck.
“I was struck head-on by a local police officer using his cell phone. He received a text from a fellow officer and decided to read that while making a turn onto my road. I was stopped … there is no excuse to use your phone at the wheel,” Fasanello said.
In the video, the officer admitted he was looking at his phone. The Missouri State Highway Patrol is investigating.
Troopers say the crash occurred as Wallace made a left turn on 211th Street, cut the corner too sharp and struck Fasanello.
Fasanello was scraped up and sore but not seriously hurt. He refused treatment at the scene.
“The Missouri State Highway Patrol is investigating the incident. Until the investigation is complete, the officer is suspended with pay, which is standard,” Police Chief Harry Gurin said.
Gurin said that the department is doing their due diligence to make sure they’re doing everything the right way, and they’re not trying to hide anything.