Detroit Free Press (MI)
By    MATT HELMS Free Press Staff Writer
Date: August 3, 1998; Page: 4B
Edition: METRO FINAL; Section: NWS

Two Detroiters remained hospitalized Sunday after they were hit by a police car Saturday night on crowded Jefferson Avenue -- a weekend hot spot for road-clogging cruising.

Around 9:30 p.m. Saturday, a marked police cruiser on westbound East Jefferson near Riopelle in the left-turn lane struck two pedestrians, apparently at a high enough speed that one of them went over the hood and crashed through the windshield, police said.
A 38-year-old woman was in critical condition and a 48-year-old man was in fair condition Sunday at Detroit Receiving Hospital. Police spokesman Bill Ratliff said their names weren't being released.

The officer, a 21-year veteran of the force, wasn't injured, Ratliff said. The department was still investigating.

Inspector Marvin Winkler, chief of staff for Detroit Police Chief Benny Napoleon, said the incident appears to have been accidental -- and disheartening for the driver.

"Those things affect us, too -- we're human," Winkler said.

He said because of the high traffic on Jefferson, officers often have to use the left-turn lane to get through. Jefferson draws thousands of people each weekend who cruise that road and Belle Isle.

An officer who asked not to be identified said the officer driving the car had made a U-turn in preparation for a traffic stop and had his overhead flashing lights on. The officer said the two people appeared not to have been near a crosswalk.

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