Skip to content

Officer seriously injured while directing traffic

A Park Hills police officer was struck and injured while directing traffic around debris in the roadway near Taylor Avenue and Parkway Drive after a mail truck lost part of its load.

Park Hills Lt. Doug Bowles said he received the call a little after 5 a.m. about officer Jeff Womble being hit by a vehicle while directing traffic. Womble has only been with the department for a short time, recently moving from the Desloge Police Department to accept the full-time position.

“It was bad, but not as bad as it could have been,” Bowles said. “The Missouri State Highway Patrol is investigating the crash.”

Bowles said they are still running tests on Womble, so they don’t know the full extent of his injuries at this time. He added they do know he has some fractures to his upper spine and a lot of bruising.

A family member posted on Facebook that they have Womble on pain medication and he is still in a lot of pain when breathing. The family member indicated he has a large abrasion on his head and both knees. and his C6 and 7 vertebrae, which are located at the base of the neck, are fractured but he is not in danger of paralysis.

“He has some recovery time he will have to do, but he should pull out of it without any issues,” Bowles said. “They were initially going to fly him from the scene, but the helicopters couldn’t fly. I guess it was a low ceiling up around St. Louis. So he was taken to a local hospital.”

Bowles stressed the patrol is going to do the investigation and it could take a few days.

Missouri State Highway Patrol Trooper Dallas Thompson said a mail truck had lost part of its load at the intersection of Parkway Drive and Taylor Avenue. The Park Hills officer was going to direct traffic around the debris in the roadway while workers were trying to get it loaded back up.

“Evidently a vehicle was coming north on Taylor Avenue and (the driver) didn’t see the debris or the officer out in the road and he struck the officer,” Thompson said. “From what I understand the driver pulled out of a driveway by the apartments just below the funeral home and accelerated up the hill towards the intersection. He wasn’t going extremely fast, he had just pulled out of a driveway.”

Thompson said at this point he doesn’t believe there will be any charges filed against the driver, but he won’t know for sure until they complete the investigation. 

“I think it is going to be a sight and visibility issue from where the emergency lights might have been activated,” Thompson said. “We aren’t sure and we are trying to figure out exactly where the emergency lights were and if the officer was visible, then we will go from there. So until they get that all completed, I can’t determine if there will be any kind of charges or not.”

According to patrol records, Christopher DeClue, 45, of Park Hills, was the driver who struck the officer.

This is a developing story and the Daily Journal will bring more details as they become available.

A Park Hills officer was seriously injured after he was hit by a car while directing traffic early Monday morning.

A Park Hills officer was seriously injured after he was hit by a car while directing traffic early Monday morning.

Leave a Comment