Worcester cop, bystander injured at Webster Square Plaza

A Worcester Police officer and a civilian were injured in an accident at Webster Square Plaza Tuesday morning. The officer is a member of an accident reconstruction team and was at the plaza working on a detail unrelated to Tuesday's accident. Police say that a civilian had witnessed a car crashing into a pillar at the mall, and the civilian and police officer approached the wrecked car to check out the situation.

Upon approach of the car, authorities say that it appeared that the driver may have been experiencing some kind of medical distress. Police believe that the driver hit the gas pedal with the two pedestrians near the vehicle. The two people who were seeking to lend assistance to the apparent single-vehicle accident victim were then struck by the car.

The two pedestrian accident victims and the driver of the vehicle were all hospitalized after the crash. Police believe that the driver of the car was under the influence of drugs—law enforcement believes that the possible medical emergency implicated in the incident may be related to drug use.

The officer suffered an injury to his ankle and was released from the hospital Wednesday afternoon. The bystander suffered leg injuries in the incident and remains under treatment.

The driver is accused of several crimes, including drug-related driving offenses.

As a society, we often look at drunk driving as a serious danger to people on, or near, the roadways where a drunk driver may be traveling. But, it is important to note that drugs, whether illicit or taken under a prescription, can cause significant impairment. Impaired driving involving any substance can cause serious risks for pedestrians and other motorists alike.

Source: The Republican, "Shrewsbury man arrested after crashing car in Webster Square Plaza, hitting a cop with his car," Michelle Williams, Aug. 28, 2013