Carrollton Police Officer Matt Bonner ran a red light when he was injured in an accident while on duty last month in Carrollton, NBC 5 News has uncovered.
"He was not responding to a call or attempting to make a stop," Carrollton police spokesperson Jon Stovall said via email. "He was just driving along and for whatever reason drove right through the light."
Stovall said investigators drove the route and concluded Bonner was driving at or below the speed limit at the time of the crash.
"Looks like human error - just glad no one was injured any worse than they were," Stovall said in the email.
Bonner was involved in an accident on the corner of Old Denton Road and Whitlock Lane on the morning of Wednesday, March 14.
NBC 5 obtained dash camera video from Bonner’s police cruiser on Thursday. It shows him driving at normal speed through the intersection. You then see from his forward-facing camera his front windshield shatter and his police unit sliding sideways as he is hit broadside by Kristopher Panagakis. The vehicles then come to rest on the shoulder of the intersection.
There is no audio with the video because Bonner did not have his lights or siren activated, Stovall said.
Carrollton's dispatch received a radio call from a badly injured Bonner. At the time, Lt. Doug Mitchell was listening to the radio calls.
"I knew instantly that he was hurt," Mitchell said on March 14. "I didn't know what the circumstances were, I didn't know where, but I knew we had an officer hurt somewhere. A hundred things went though your mind. Has he been shot? Has he been run over? You don't know."
The dispatcher was able to understand Bonner's distress call and sent officers to his location. But a few seconds later, another voice was heard over the officer's radio. That man was later identified as Tim Bailey.
"We're a close-knit family," Mitchell said. "We know who's on the radio by voice, and I knew it was a civilian, and I knew by the way he was talking, he was a civilian."
Bailey told dispatch, "Uh, Officer Bonner is down! Badly! Can you come to Whitlock and Old Denton Road, right by the intersection?"
Bailey had grabbed Bonner's radio and called in to make sure dispatchers knew where he was and that the officer needed help.
Emergency crews arrived a few minutes later and secured the scene. Bonner was taken to Parkland Medical Center and was stable.
Panagakis, was taken to the hospital and was expected to be fine.
Officer Bonner is still out on injury leave recovering from cracked ribs.