On Friday, July 26, a Columbia Township police officer was involved in a one-car accident while on duty.  Police Chief David Elwell said Sergeant Jay Niles had been assisting the Columbia Township Fire Department in the Wamplers Lake area.  According to Jackson County Undersheriff Chris Kuhl, “the car was northbound on Oakwood Beach Drive and struck a large concrete pillar.”  He noted the vehicle was operating normally, meaning “not on the way to an emergency.”  As a result of the impact, Sergeant Niles was taken to Henry Ford Allegiance Hospital for treatment.

The Jackson County Sheriffs Department today (Wednesday, July 31) say they have concluded their investigation:

“After reviewing in car video, GPS data and observations of first responders, we have concluded the vehicle was traveling at the speed limit (25mph) and began to slowly drift off the roadway striking the concrete and stone barrier.  The driver of the vehicle could not recall what happened and rescue personnel who were immediately behind the patrol car indicated the driver was not coherent after the crash.  Evidence suggests that a underlying medical or physical condition contributed to the crash.  This investigation is closed and any further actions  are subject to policies set forth by Columbia Township and the Michigan Secretary of State. ”

The marks on the pavement are shadows from utility lines, not skid marks.

Sergeant Niles was released from the hospital on Monday. 

Hitting a large immovable object, even at a low rate of speed, as its effect. The police car sustained heavy damage, including a bent frame. Columbia Township carries insurance on its vehicles.   Chief Elwell indicated that the department will seek to have the vehicle replaced.

This is a file photo of Sergeant Niles investigating an accident and directing traffic at Eagle Point and Jefferson Roads in April of this year.