Updated Feb. 19
The 28-year-old male operator of an Isuzu dump truck was cited for operating without a license, a marked lanes violation, and driving an uninspected vehicle after a collision with a Tisbury Police cruiser Thursday afternoon on the Lagoon Pond Bridge. Massachusetts State Police are investigating the collision. According to Trooper James P. DeAngelis, a State Police spokesman, the operator of the dump truck was issued a summons. The police officer in the damaged cruiser was transported to Martha’s Vineyard Hospital with minor injuries. On Friday, Tisbury Police Chief Mark Saloio identified the officer as Patrick Souza, and the dump truck driver as Reniclis Albino of Oak Bluffs.
The Tisbury Police cruiser took damage to the driver’s side.
The driver of the cruiser, Souza, was no longer at the scene when a Times reporter arrived on the bridge at 4:30 pm. Two Tisbury Police cruisers were on scene, along with a State Police cruiser. State Police Det. Dustin Shaw later arrived in an unmarked police vehicle. Det. Shaw said he could not speak about elements of the accident, including who was driving the cruiser. When asked who was driving the cruiser, Tisbury Police Sgt. Jeff Day, who was directing traffic on the bridge, said “a Tisbury Police officer.” Det. Shaw removed items from the damaged cruiser and transferred them to Sgt. Day before a JWL ramp truck took the wreck away.
Tisbury town administrator Jay Grande later said the cruiser was traveling toward Oak Bluffs when it collided with a truck. That truck wasn’t readily visible when the Times was on scene. Grande declined to identify the police officer at the wheel of the cruiser, but did say he understood that the individual was OK following the accident. Grande said he didn’t know who was driving the truck, or the condition of that motorist. DeAngelis declined to name the police officer in the cruiser, and referred inquiry to local police. In a statement Thursday, Chief Saloio confirmed the officer “sustained minor injuries,” but he didn’t identify the officer or the truck driver. He noted the truck driver wasn’t injured, and had been traveling in the opposite direction when the collision occurred.
“Both vehicles sustained significant damage,” he wrote.
On Friday, Saloio stated the delay in providing the officer’s name was an effort to be considerate.
“When incidents such as this occur,” Saloio wrote, “our first priority is to ensure that anyone involved is OK. Beyond that, when an officer or employee is involved, in particular when his or her immediate family may reside off-Island, we want to be sure all members of the immediate family are notified and aware of what happened. We also want to allow for the outside agency [Massachusetts State Police] to perform their initial investigation. There is no intent to withhold anything that is in fact public record, but we are trying to be considerate, for the initial period at least, of the person or persons involved in the incident. Once that is completed and we are sure everyone is OK and the incident is over, names can then be released at that point.”
DeAngelis said he expects an accident report to be finished by the State Police in five days or fewer.
Updated with the names of those involved in the collision.