Saturday, April 2, 2016

Hackensack officer's cruiser pushed victim's sedan 40 feet

On Friday, these were two of the skid marks evident near Summit and Ross avenues in Hackensack. They were left by a police cruiser just before it slammed into the driver's side of a small sedan, fatally injuring the driver, 67-year-old John Parham of Hackensack, a security guard who lived a few blocks away.

Markings left by investigators indicate that after the collision, the police cruiser pushed the sedan more than 40 feet into the driveway of 599 Summit Ave., above. A woman who lives across the street told The Record the police car had its emergency lights flashing, but she did not hear any siren before the crash.


By VICTOR E. SASSON
EDITOR

The acting Bergen County prosecutor and Hackensack Police Director Mike Mordaga aren't saying who was at fault in the collision on Thursday that fatally injured a man a few blocks from his home.

John Parham, 67, was turning left from Ross Avenue onto Summit Avenue when his small sedan was T-boned by a marked Dodge Charger being driven by Hackensack Police Officer Stephen Ochman, according to The Record.

The collision left the cruiser with "serious front-end damage" and Parham's sedan was severely damaged on the driver's side, the Woodland Park daily reports (A-1 and A-6).

That suggests the police car was traveling at a high rate of speed before the crash.

But Gurbir S. Grewal, the acting prosecutor, wouldn't say how fast the cruiser was being driven, who was at fault and whether the officer was operating his siren before the collision.

Mordaga referred questions on state guidelines for police pursuits to Grewal.

Investigators' marks

On Friday, Eye on The Record took photos of chalk marks left by investigators at the point of the collision, and where the two vehicles ended up in front of 599 Summit Ave.

Short skid marks were left by the police car's tires, indicating the officer didn't brake until just before the collision.

Media reports on Thursday quoted "responders" as saying Parham, the driver of the sedan, suddenly pulled into the path of the police car, which was responding to an emergency on the Maywood-Hackensack border.

The marks also suggest that after the collision, the cruiser pushed the small sedan more than 40 feet before both vehicles came to rest in or near the driveway of a house at 599 Summit.

Parham, who lived at 230 Ross Ave., was African-American. He was employed as a security guard at Lord & Taylor, the department store in Paramus.

He was taken to Hackensack University Medical Center, where he died of his injuries, Grewal said in a press release.


Shattered car parts, glass and other debris in front of 599 Summit Ave. in Hackensack were still evident more than 24 hours after the crash, above and below.


"RR" "LR" and "RF" indicate the final positions of the wheels and tires on the Dodge Charger Pursuit police cruiser after the collision.
The car driven on Thursday afternoon by John Parham of Hackensack ended up in the driveway and on the sidewalk in front of 599 Summit Ave. with heavy damage to the driver's side. 

The police cruiser involved in the crash can be seen between the telephone pole and the silver-colored truck.

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