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November 10, 2011
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Video: Ore. officer crashes cruiser into house

A departmental review with the crash board is pending

By PoliceOne Staff

TIGARD, Ore. — Police have released video that shows Tigard police cruiser collide with a vehicle and then crash into a home.

Initial statements from the department Wednesday did not fault Officer Caleb Phillips, 34, for the September accident, instead placing most of the blame on Tigard resident Clyde Allen Rizzutto, 65, who will receive a vehicle citation for failing to yield to a police vehicle, according to police spokesman Jim Wolf.

An investigation examined the circumstances prior to the incident, and it was determined that Rizzutto turned left while Phillips tried to pass him — also on the left, The Oregonian reported. Phillips drove with his lights and siren activated as he was responding to a call, and struck Rizzutto’s car at a 45-degree angle before crashing into a home just off the intersection.

Although investigators and police said the accident could have been prevented if Rizzutto had moved over, a pending departmental review by the crash board will determine if any disciplinary action is taken against Phillips.

"The board's priority will be to ascertain the preventability of the crash," Wolf said. "Also, based on their determination, what, if any discipline would also commence."

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