Details skeletal on police-involved crash

State police released sketchy information today on a two-vehicle, police-involved crash on Jan. 14 that seriously injured a 47-year-old West Chester man.

An information report from the Embreeville barracks said Westtown-East Goshen Police Officer Michael J. O’Brien was traveling eastbound on West Chester Pike at 10:06 a.m. in a 2009 Dodge Charger when he entered the intersection with Westtown Way and struck the center of the driver’s side of a 2006 Acura driven by John M. Jacobs.

The report said Jacobs, who was taken to Paoli Hospital with “major injury,” had been traveling northbound on Westtown Way and was making a left turn onto West Chester Pike. The report listed “traffic-control signals” as a primary violation for the officer, who has not been charged. After impact, O’Brien’s vehicle traveled 50 feet into the westbound lane of West Chester Pike; the officer was not injured, the report said. Jacobs’ vehicle was pushed 100 feet east, coming to rest on the median.

Jacobs’ wife, Maria Jacobs, said that her husband is still hospitalized with “major injuries” and that the family values privacy. She declined further comment. Neither state nor local police returned telephone calls seeking comment, but Chester County First Assistant District Attorney Michael G. Noone said it’s standard procedure to assign an accident investigation to state police when a local officer is involved. “The investigation is ongoing,” he said. “As far as I know, the cause has not been determined yet.”

According to township web sites, O’Brien is a respected, three-year veteran of the Westtown-East Goshen Regional Police, where he is assigned to the Patrol Division. He is a graduate of Malvern Prep and Lynchburg College and completed his law-enforcement training at the Delaware County Police Academy in 2008. In May 2011, he was named “Officer of the Year,” an award that recognizes the dedication, integrity, service and honor of an officer and is voted on by other members of the department.