Clinton, Iowa Officer Killed in Accident

Officer Down: Officer Rodney G. Powell - [Clinton, Iowa]

Police officer killed in crash

By: Charlene Bielema, Herald Editor October 20, 2003

CLINTON - The Clinton Police Department is mourning one of its own today after an off-duty Clinton police officer died as the result of a two-vehicle accident north of Clinton early Sunday evening.
Rodney G. Powell, 39, died at Genesis Medical Center - East Campus after being airlifted there by Med Force. According to Clinton County Sheriff's Office reports, Powell was driving a motorcycle south on U.S. 67 near Bulger's Hollow around 6:10 p.m. when a northbound car driven by Richard Cliche, 40, of Savanna, Ill., crossed the centerline and drove into Powell's lane.
The motorcycle deflected off next to the guard rail and Cliche's car veered west into the guard rail, then rolled north and came to rest in the east side of the road. Reports indicate neither Powell nor his passenger were wearing motorcycle helmets.
Cliche was taken by Clinton ambulance to Mercy North Hospital. Powell's passenger, Donnell Hoffman, 35, of Charlotte, was taken by Andover ambulance to Mercy North Hospital and later airlifted to University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics in Iowa City. According to sheriff's officials, she sustained injuries that are not life-threatening. Cliche is listed in stable condition today at Mercy North Hospital.
Clinton County Sheriff Capt. Roger Heilig said this morning that no charges have yet been filed in the accident, which remains under investigation by the sheriff's office.
Powell, a patrol officer serving on B shift, joined the Clinton Police Department in August 1998. He was known for his involvement on the domestic abuse response team and was a field training officer, helping new recruits who have just joined the force.
Clinton Police Chief Brian Guy said this morning he will be meeting to talk about the tragedy with the officers, many of whom were at the scene of the crash.
"We're an extended family, both the sworn and nonsworn members of the department," Guy said. "When something like this happens, its' a shock. We will draw upon each other for support."
It has been more than a decade since the Clinton Police Department dealt with the loss of a ranking police officer. Todd Stone died in January 1993 during a high-speed chase while he was on duty. Stone, who was chasing an eluding vehicle, died after he lost control of his squad car in the 1700 block of Camanche Avenue and hit a utility pole.

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