Fayetteville Officer Injures Huntsville Firefighter And Wife In Collision

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FAYETTEVILLE (KFSM) -- A Fayetteville officer crashed into an SUV Tuesday night (Jan. 2), sending the officer and two others to the hospital including a Huntsville firefighter and his wife.

It happened around 10:30 p.m. Tuesday (Jan. 2).

Huntsville firefighter Dean Holowatsch was driving his wife to work when a Fayetteville Police officer was making a traffic stop and was hit head-on by the police SUV.

“A vehicle with no headlights or anything cut in front of us. I had just flashed my lights and just as I was getting ready to honk my horn, as I applied my breaks, it was already too late -- the police SUV had hit us head on,” Holowatsch said.

The officer was driving southbound in the left turn lane of Crossover Road when he tried to make a traffic stop on a car driving without lights, and failed to yield at the intersection.

The report states the officer activated the emergency lights, and wasn't sure if they had the right of way because the focus was on the suspect vehicle.

The other driver said he saw the emergency lights, but didn't have time to avoid the collision. He suffered an injury to his collarbone and his ribs. The passenger in this vehicle complained of injury to her ribs. They were both treated and released at Washington Regional Medical Center.

"It was pretty scary. We were very fortunate the extent of injuries weren't life threatening or even more severe, but it puts a new perspective on things,” he said.

He said even first responders responding to a call using lights and sirens doesn’t give you the right to speed.

“It's merely just a suggestion to ask vehicles to yield to you ... we still obey all traffic laws and that goes both ways. Even if you are in a fire truck we still stop at stop signs, we still stop at red lights, we still look both ways,” he said.

Holowatsch has a fractured wrist and possibly a fractured rib. He won’t be able to return to the fire department for several weeks until his wrist heals.

We reached out to Fayetteville Police for an on-camera interview, but they declined. It’s unclear is the officer will face any disciplinary action at this time.

The officer had minor abrasions to the legs, and was treated and released at Washington Regional Medical Center.