A fourth Grand Traverse County Sheriffs Department car is now in the shop for repairs after a driver slammed into it.
The latest crash happened around 9:30 Friday morning at the intersection of Walton and Summit City Roads near Kingsley.
A driver rear ended a deputy’s car who was re-routing traffic around another accident. The first two patrol cars were hit Wednesday when drivers lost control on M-72.Then early Thursday morning a deputy was hit while trying to make a u-turn on US-31. Everyone is ok, but their cars are totaled or need major repairs,
The sheriff’s department is using back up cars that are older.They say it could add to their response time.
"I’ve never seen anything like this in my over 20 years of law enforcement experience to have 4 patrol cars hit in just a few days," said Captain Randy Fewless.
All four deputies in those crashes are ok, but for their cars it’s a different story.
"We do have a few fleet cars that are extra old vehicles that we will use, but it does have an impact on our ability to do the job at some point," he said.
They pulled back up cars from their fleet to use until damaged ones, like the car in the latest crash can be repaired.
Captain Fewless says they’re in this predicament because of one obvious reason.
"The common theme with the patrol cars hit is people driving too fast for conditions," he said. Now they are more worried than ever about sending people out on the road.
"This has kind of brought it to light every winter we worry about our deputies being out there not only when conditions are slippery, but when visibility starts to be a factor where cars can’t see us until the last minute," he said.
The concern is spreading to other departments, who also ask drivers to slow down.
"They’ve got to be able to stop no matter what the conditions if they are icy snow packed snow covered still have to be able to control your vehicle and stop your vehicle," said Sergeant Shawn Wise. The driver from the crash, like the others, was ticketed for driving too fast for conditions.