ALEA has released the crash report on the officer-involved wreck that sent 8 victims to the hospital. The accident happened the night of October 24th at the intersection of St. Stephens Road and the Old Citronelle Highway.
Prichard Police Officer Shondarrius Roberson was driving the police cruiser and Emeriel Lafitte was driving the Volvo XC, both vehicles were totaled in the accident. Roberson’s cruiser was carrying fellow Prichard Police Officer Samuel Castleberry. Lafitte’s vehicle was carrying her five children, ranging in age from 3-years-old to 11-years-old.
Everyone involved was sent to the hospital for treatment. However, some of the injuries sustained were more serious than others. The youngest victim, now 4-year-old Carmen Lafitte, spent days in the ICU fighting for her life.
Posted speed limit signs in the area show the speed limit is 35 miles per hour, but according to the report, the Police cruiser was traveling at 66 miles per hour when it hit Lafitte’s Volvo SUV. The report also states that the cruiser did not have its lights or sirens in operation at the time of the wreck.
This is the narrative outlined in the crash report:
Vehicle one was traveling southbound on US 45 and vehicle two was traveling northbound on US 45. Vehicle one was a Prichard Police car, with two officers responding to a burglary call, with no lights or siren in operation. Vehicle one was traveling over the posted speed limit. Vehicle two was attempting a left tum onto westbound Old Citronelle Highway. Vehicle one approached the intersection at a high rate of speed. Vehicle one traveled down a small hill and into a bottom, which blocked it from vehicle two’s view. The driver of vehicle two approached the intersection, and she stated she stopped before turning. She did not see vehicle one, and proceeded with her tum. Vehicle one crested the hill and entered the intersection. The two units made contact. Vehicle one rotated clockwise and came to an uncontrolled final rest in the intersection. Vehicle two exited the roadway and came to an uncontrolled final rest on the southbound shoulder of US 45. The data recorded on the airbag control module in vehicle one was imaged. Vehicle one was traveling 66 miles per hour before the driver applied the brakes and was traveling 57 miles per hour at impact.
We’re told that both Officer Roberson and Officer Castleberry have not been able to return to work and are still recovering to the injuries they sustained in this crash.
News 5 reached out to the City of Prichard who said they were not ready to make any official statements at this time.