By: Richard L. Smith
A Passaic County resident was arrested for ramming his vehicle into a Wayne Police car, injuring an officer last week.
According to Wayne Police officials, on Friday, March 3rd, at 11:10 PM, Wayne Police Officer Kimberly Fryer was on patrol in a marked Wayne Police vehicle.
Official said Officer Fryer was parked back from the roadway in the lot of Wayne Acura on Route 23 South while monitoring passing traffic.
Police say Mr. Harry Berkshire III, 33, of Pompton Plains, was traveling on Route 23 South when he accelerated and changed lanes to keep up with a friend in another vehicle he stated he was following.
Mr. Berkshire lost control of his vehicle on the wet pavement and skidded off the roadway. His vehicle struck the curb and ran over hedges in front of Wayne Acura.
According to police, Mr. Berkshire's 2003 Jeep Grand Cherokee became airborne and crashed into the driver's side rear of Officer Fryer's vehicle before coming to rest on its side.
Parts and debris from Mr. Berkshire's vehicle struck and damaged a third vehicle parked in the lot and unoccupied.
Witnesses stated that Mr. Berkshire's vehicle was traveling at a high rate of speed and suddenly changed lanes before he lost control and crashed.
Wayne Police officials said Officer Fryer sustained minor injuries due to the impact and was transported by the Wayne Memorial First Aid Squad to Chilton Hospital for treatment. She was released the same night. Mr. Berkshire refused medical attention at the scene.
According to police, an investigation revealed Mr. Berkshire's extensive history of moving violations. Police issued him several motor vehicle summonses for Reckless Driving, Unsafe Lane Change and Destruction of Agricultural Property.
He was also charged on a summons with the Disorderly Persons Offense of Assault by Auto.
The Wayne Police Department took the opportunity to remind everyone that aggressive driving can have serious consequences. "We are thankful that Officer Fryer was not struck directly where she sat in her vehicle, or the results could have been tragic," officials said.
The charges against Mr. Berkshire are merely accusations and he is presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.