OROVILLE (CBS13) – A California State Parks Officer is on administrative leave after crashing into a power pole near the intersection of Oro Dam Boulevard and Oro Quincy Highway.
The California Highway Patrol is investigating the collision and trying to figure out what led up to this crash.
“We look over and happen to see the officer slouched over in the car, people trying to yell and get his attention and then a few minutes after that, the police came and broke the window out and they broke it, he looked up and just gassed it,” said Brandon Hinton, who captured some of the incident on his cell phone.
The officer has been identified as 43-year-old Daniel Kenney. It’s unclear whether or not Kenney was on duty at the time of the crash, but when Oroville police officers tried to make contact with Kenney, he sped off down the road.
“I think he should be arrested because if it were one of us, we would have been,” Hinton said.
Javier Carmone also started recording as Oroville Police Department finally cornered Kenney on the street.
“He was leaning against the Oroville Police car bumper,” he said. “From my point of view, it looked like he was fine.”
According to CHP, Kenney was handcuffed and taken to a local CHP office, where a drug recognition expert conducted an in-depth sobriety test and determined he was not under the influence. CHP Officer Chris Alves explained that drug expert will typically “check out only people that they suspect of being under the influence or people that they believe need further investigation.”
As Hinton reflected on the entire incident, he told CBS13 he wondered why Oroville PD appeared to hesitate as Kenney sped away.
“He sat right there at the intersection, they could have done something to stop him,” Hinton said.
Oroville PD told CBS13 when officers arrive on the scene of a collision; their first instinct is to help the driver. And in this case, Kenney’s safety was their first concern.
According to State Parks, if a vehicle is involved in an accident, a third party takes over the investigation. In this case, CHP has taken the lead.