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State Police: Hazleton Police Chief Caused Crash

Posted on: 5:58 pm, July 17, 2012, by , updated on: 06:45pm, July 17, 2012

HAZLETON — Hazleton’s Police Chief is being blamed for a wreck that happened back in May. The case was handed over to state police to investigate.

Tuesday we learned why investigators believe the chief is at fault.

The crash took place in May in downtown Hazleton.  A cruiser, driven by Police Chief Frank DeAndrea and a motorcycle operated by Walter Bloss collided. Now we know who state police said caused the crash: Police Chief Frank DeAndrea.

Troopers in their report say the chief failed to stop for a red light. That was based on what a majority of witnesses said.

But witness Francisco Correa told troopers the motorcyclist was at fault.

“The chief was green, the light was still green and that motorcycle crossed the light on red I saw the police hit the motorcycle, and it was green for the police and the motorcycle crossed the line and it was red,” Correa said.

The state police report says Chief DeAndrea told them that he observed a green traffic light. Began looking to his left to see if anyone was traveling the wrong way on Laurel street.

When he looked back into his lane he saw the motorcyclist in front of him.  Walter Bloss is recovering at home after several weeks in the hospital.

Mayor Joseph Yannuzzi reviewed the state police finding.

“We’re aware that Mister Bloss has a solicitor and there will be litigation so as of this time I really can’t comment on anything,” said the Mayor.

Raisa Castano crosses the area where the crash took place.

“He should be punished the same way anybody else could be and somebody was hurt, he ran the red light I think he needs to pay for it,” said Castano.

Officials expect a traffic ticket to be issued to Hazleton’s Police Chief.

The police cruiser involved in the crash still needs to be fixed. Mayor Yannuzzi says no matter what the outcome of the state police investigation, Chief Frank DeAndrea will remain his Chief because he has complete confidence in him.

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