Two Belleville Police officers crashed their squad cars into each other while trying to catch a stolen vehicle late Saturday night.
The cars collided just before midnight in the 800 block of Lucinda Avenue as the officers were pursuing a truck stolen from the 200 block of Kansas Avenue. Both officers were taken to the hospital and later released.
Police Chief Terry Delaney did not release the names of the officers. He said they reacted appropriately, but the crash is being investigated.
"It was a very traumatic event," Delaney said. "We were really hurt there taking two cars out of service, and more importantly, two officers out of service."
The officers, ages 38 and 48, are senior members of the police force. One is suffering from a head injury, trauma to the wrist and various cuts. The other officer is suffering from back injuries and damage to his right arm, Delaney said.
A 2003 Ford Crown Victoria police car was totaled in the accident and a 2004 model of the car received "very extensive damage," Delaney said. Both cars are being kept at the city garage on Royal Heights Road.
The chase followed a report by Kenny and Dawn McCoy that their light blue 1998 Ford Ranger was stolen from their driveway late Saturday night. The couple heard a noise in the driveway and saw the truck being stolen, Dawn McCoy said.
They called police and two officers began pursuing the truck.
After the police cars collided, the suspect lost control of the truck, hit a parked car and abandoned the truck in the 1500 block of North Charles Street.
Police were not able to catch the suspect. He is described as a white male with long hair who was wearing dark clothing.
"It's just unfortunate that type of thing happened here," Dawn McCoy said.
She said the gas gauge of the truck was on empty. She said she wondered if the truck would have been spared the damage had the police chase not ensued.