Officer's crash called 'unfortunate accident'

After completing an investigation into a Jan. 14 two-vehicle, police-involved crash in East Goshen Township that seriously injured a 47-year-old West Chester man, state police said today that no citations would be filed. “It was an unfortunate accident,” said State Police Sgt. Troy Hyman from the Embreeville barracks.

Hyman said Westtown-East Goshen Police Officer Michael J. O’Brien was responding to a police call at 10:06 a.m. in a 2009 Dodge Charger and traveling eastbound on West Chester Pike with both his sirens and lights activated. O’Brien initially did not see a 2006 Acura driven by John M. Jacobs, who was making a left turn onto West Chester Pike from Westtown Way, Hyman said. According to witnesses and physical evidence, the officer’s car entered the intersection and struck the center of the driver’s side of Jacobs’ vehicle.

The investigation, performed by the state police because a township officer was involved in the crash, was turned over the the Westtown-East Goshen Regional Police Department, which may also conduct an internal investigation, Hyman said. “Everyone involved has been very cooperative,” he said. “Our goal is to conduct an objective investigation." Hyman said investigators concluded that O’Brien’s vehicle had run a red light; however, looking at “the totality of the circumstances,” they also felt that no charges or citations were warranted.

Jacobs’ wife, Maria Jacobs, said Monday that her husband is still hospitalized with “major injuries” and that the family values privacy, declining further comment.

 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 for dedication, integrity, service and honor that is voted on by members of the department.