Just after 5:00 a.m. on Thursday, June 20, one North Royalton Police officer got quite a jolt. While on patrol, his vehicle was hit by a tree, crushing the vehicle. Fellow police and fire officers worked together to extract him from the vehicle, using the jaws of life.
Patrolman John Murphy, who actually called in the incident at 5:10 a.m., was driving on Bunker Road near Ridgedale Drive when an oak tree fell on his cruiser. Heavy rains had been taking place at the time. It is thought that the recent wet spring undermined the root system of the tree, causing it to become unstable. The vehicle was crushed to the point where it pinned him inside.
Police arrived at the scene at 5:13 a.m., along with the North Royalton Fire Department Medics.
The cruiser was on the eastbound lane of Bunker, covered with the tree that fell from the south side of the road, according to the North Royalton Police report. Murphy said he was trapped in the cruiser and was experiencing neck pain from the roof, which was crushed down over his head.
“The Fire Department used chainsaws to cut multiple large branches off of the cruiser. They were then able to pry the passenger’s side door open and assist Patrolman Murphy out of the vehicle. He had a red mark on his forehead and on the left side of his head,” according to the report. Murphy was then transported to University Hospitals Parma Medical Center. Murphy sustained minor injuries and was treated and then released.
Bunker Road was closed, as Police and the North Royalton Service Department cleared the debris off the road, the vehicle and the immediate area. The cruiser, which was a total loss was then towed back to the station. Bunker was re-opened at about 8:00 a.m.
Contributing Writer