Police officer on motorcycle hit by vehicle in Durham

DURHAM (WTVD) -- A Durham motorcycle officer was rushed to the hospital after colliding with a car while escorting a funeral procession Friday afternoon.

Witnesses told ABC11 that the funeral procession stretched far down Fayetteville Street.

"It was about 100 to 150 cars. We know it was a big procession," said Robert Curtis.

The long line of vehicles was just a block away from reaching the burial site at Beechwood Cemetery when police said the woman behind the wheel of a gray sedan made an ill-advised left turn onto Homeland Avenue; directly in the path of the procession.

One of the Durham motorcycle police officers escorting the mourners collided with the car, tossing the officer and his bike 20 feet into the trees.

Ironically, the violent funeral procession wreck played out in front of another local funeral home.

Curtis and Mark Fisher are both directors at Fisher Funeral Parlor. They work closely with the Durham Police Department's motor unit.

"We know these guys. They do an excellent job of providing safety and everything," said Fisher. "Not only for the community, but for the funeral homes when we need to get to the cemetery safely".

"They do an excellent job and I'm praying for the officer and his family," Curtis said.

Paramedics worked feverishly on the scene to treat the officer who was identified as Cpl. Christopher Andrews.

Andrews was rushed to Duke Hospital with what were described as non-life-threatening injuries.

Police have not said whether the woman behind the wheel of the car that hit the officers will be cited.

However, Mark Fisher said the accident serves as reminder of the dangers of failing to yield to funeral processions.

"I've seen countless times where we would go into procession and people would keep going or not stop," Fisher said.

Andrews was released from Duke Hospital on Saturday.

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