07/14/09 — Sheriff deputy, K9 OK after crash

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Sheriff deputy, K9 OK after crash

By Nick Hiltunen
Published in News on July 14, 2009 1:49 PM

A Wayne County Sheriff's Office deputy and his police service dog were not severely injured in a crash that totaled a Sheriff's Office cruiser on Monday night, authorities said.

K9 Officer Blake Ferrell was traveling to assist Highway Patrol Trooper M.G. Connely when he lost control of his vehicle on New Hope Road, Highway Patrol Sgt. R.P. Hooks said.

Another Highway Patrol Trooper, J. Smith, was investigating a hit-and-run collision off of Miller Chapel Road, Hooks said.

While talking to the owner of the hit mailbox, Smith observed the vehicle pass the scene of the accident again, Hooks said.

Smith initiated a chase, and Ferrell was on his way to help the patrolman with the chase just before 8 p.m., police said.

When the deputy entered a curve on New Hope Road near the intersection of Mark Edwards Road, his vehicle started to travel off the roadway, authorities said.

The deputy then overcorrected his steering, causing his late model Crown Victoria cruiser to strike a ditch and a culvert, Sheriff Carey Winders said.

Winders said he expected the Crown Victoria to be a total loss.

Neither Ferrell or his police dog were severely injured in the crash, but they were transported to the hospital for evaluation, he said.

"He (Ferrell) seems to be doing pretty well, no broken bones, just bruised up. He'll probably be very sore tomorrow," Winders today said.

The sheriff said it was fortunate that no other vehicles were involved in the crash.

The Highway Patrol did not have complete information this morning about the suspect that Smith was following for the alleged hit-and-run accident.

Wayne County Highway Patrol First Sgt. Jerry Burton said that the suspect was intoxicated.

Hooks said that the driver tested at .08 blood alcohol, right at the legal limit to drive in North Carolina.

Charges are pending against the driver, Highway Patrol officials said.