PORTSMOUTH, Va. - A Portsmouth Police officer driving in a marked police car struck a pedestrian in the 2600 block of Portsmouth Boulevard just after 10 a.m. Saturday.
According to Detective Misty Holley with the Portsmouth Police Department, the pedestrian, a 19-year-old female, walked in the roadway before she was hit.
The teenager's name is Desiree Collins. She lives on Portsmouth Boulevard, where the accident happened.
Her mother, Danita Collins, told WAVY.com Desiree has a broken collar bone and a skull fracture. However, she won't need surgery. Collins was expected to stay in the hospital through the weekend.
The police officer's windshield was severely cracked after the crash. Collins' hair was still stuck in the glass after she had been taken to the hospital.
Her family admits she stepped into the road. However, they said she was trying to reach her two-year-old nephew who had run into the road on the other side of Portsmouth Boulevard.
"I was running with the car. Like when he had her, I'm running beside the car yelling. And that's when he stopped a couple houses down," said Keana Collins, the victim's sister.
She said the officer kept driving after hitting Collins.
The family is concerned because they say the officer was driving too fast in the 35 mile per hour zone. Witnesses nearby told WAVY.com another car was backing out of a driveway and the officer swerved to get around it. They said he struck Collins after.
"It doesn't matter who it is, if you hit someone, you're wrong," said Shantela Richardson, a neighbor who ran to help. "You need to be aware of your surroundings at all points."
Richardson said speed is a problem on Portsmouth Boulevard.
"We got people coming down this street doing more than 35 miles per hour," explained Richardson, pointing out that there are a lot of kids in the area. "They need to slow it down."
Holley said there is currently no information on the officer's speed during the crash. She said that's part of the ongoing investigation.
Holley told WAVY.com via email, "At this time all I can tell you is that the officer was not going to a call, not being dispatched to a call and not utilizing any type of police equipment within the vehicle at the time of the accident."
She added there is no indication the officer was using his cell phone when the accident happened.
The officer remains on normal duty. According to Holley, it is not the department's policy to suspend an officer after an accident with injuries, especially because no one has been found to be at fault.
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