Excessive speed blamed for West Chester officer's crash

Nicholas Gattermeyer (Source: West Chester Police Department)
Nicholas Gattermeyer (Source: West Chester Police Department)

By Tiffany Teasley – bio | email

WEST CHESTER, OH (FOX19) - Just weeks ago, West Chester Police Officer Nicholas Gattermeyer was released from The Drake Center after fighting for his life following a Nov. 24 crash. Now, investigators say Gatterymeyer was simply going to fast.

"The speed at the time of impact was approximately 75 mph at the time he struck the tree, about 700 feet prior to impact his speed was at about 101 mph," said West Chester Police Chief Erik Niehaus.

The speeds were registered on a Power Train Control Module, the black box inside of the police cruiser, then confirmed during accident reconstruction. As for Gattermeyer being disciplined, Niehaus said it's to early to say what actions the department would take.

"My goal and everybody's goal is get Officer Gattermeyer back to work, but it would be very likely that there would be some administrative sanctions in this case, " Niehaus said.

Those administrative sanctions can range from being written up to being fired, Niehaus says Gattermeyer is making a good recovery and said the bullet proof vest he was wearing during the accident may have helped save his life.

"That vest may have absorbed and really dissipated some of the energy that was absorbing into his body," Niehaus said.

Gattermeyer was responding to a burglary in progress, and he was wearing a seat belt.

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