Judge: Police Chief Not Guilty
HAZLETON — The Police Chief in Hazleton has been cleared of any wrongdoing in a case where his cruiser collided with a motorcycle last spring, severely injuring the driver.
A District Magisterial Judge heard five hours of testimony before finding the chief not guilty.
In May the Hazleton Police Chief’s cruiser and a motorcycle collided at the intersection of Broad and Laurel streets in the city.
State police cited Chief Frank Deandrea with running a red light and blamed the chief for the crash.
A judge heard from a number of witnesses who said the motorcyclist had the green light. That included Theresa Krapf. She testified she saw parts of the motorcycle sliding across the road.
“When I saw the accident I knew if that was my family member I would want someone to come forth for me and it was the right thing to do. I knew what I saw and knew I had to tell somebody.” said Krapf.
Krapf said what she saw next upset her.
“As I was proceeding forward I seen Mister Bloss I didn`t know who he was at the time, lying face down, and it’s very disturbing because you don`t know if he’s dead or alive and you’re kind of helpless,” said Krapf.
The man on the motorcycle was Walter Bloss. He said his injuries included a crushed pelvis.
“All I know that I had a green light and that is the truth as I am sitting here, I suffered all summer, I think there should have been a conviction, I knew it wouldn’t help me, it’s just hard for me to believe that we both had a green light,” said Bloss.
In the end the judge said the state had not proved it’s case that the chief ran a red light and threw out the citation against him. Chief Deandrea said he had to limit his reaction.
“I am sorry for Mister Bloss’s injuries regardless of who’s at fault, but I can’t comment on the investigation because there is pending litigation, and I thank you for understanding,” said Chief Deandrea.
Chief Deandrea may not be out of the legal woods yet. Walter Bloss’s family may sue the Hazleton Police Chief in connection with the crash.