Grand Junction police officer cited in May accident

A Grand Junction police officer faces a misdemeanor charge for allegedly causing a two-vehicle accident at an intersection last month while responding to an emergency call.

Colorado State Patrol Sgt. Scott Simons said Officer Kevin Bavor, 30, was issued a summons Friday for suspicion of careless driving causing injury, which was related to a crash May 28 at the intersection of 12th Street and Orchard Avenue.

According to a State Patrol accident report, Bavor was driving north on 12th Street, approaching the intersection with overhead lights and sirens activated. Simons said the investigation found that Bavor’s patrol car was going approximately 35 mph when it slammed into the passenger side of a Ford F250 pickup driven by 64-year-old Charles Richardson of Grand Junction.

Richardson’s truck was headed east, on Orchard, through the intersection on a green light, according to the report.

“We have to slow down when approaching an intersection and make sure we’re being seen by all directions of traffic before proceeding through,” Simons said of basic guidelines for law enforcement responding in emergent scenarios.

The report said Richardson’s wife, Sandy, 65, was in the passenger’s seat of the truck and suffered slight injuries. Simons on Monday said the woman complained of general soreness after the accident.

“She was OK after a couple days,” said Charles Richardson, adding his lone complaint from the incident stems from the high fencing, and signs, adjacent to Mesa State’s soccer field at the southwest coroner of the intersection.

“It certainly didn’t help,” Richardson said. “He couldn’t see me (coming); I couldn’t see him.”

Bavor wasn’t injured. The report said “moderate” damage was noted to the front end of Bavor’s patrol car as well as the passenger side of Richardson’s truck.

Police have said Bavor was responding to assist in a foot pursuit involving a suspect on Horizon Drive, who was arrested despite the accident.

The accident is still under internal review, police spokeswoman Kate Porras said. Bavor has continued to work regular patrol shifts, she said.

Richardson said he bears no ill will toward the officer, while the city’s insurer has agreed to pay claims to the tune of $3,600.

“We’re all human,” he said. “And we were treated very well by the officer and highway patrol.”


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