UPDATE: Man hit by squad car upgraded to serious condition
WAUSAU (WAOW) -
UPDATE - The man hit by a Wausau Police car last month has been upgraded to serious condition. Chang Thao, 89 of Wausau, was listed in critical condition at Aspirus Hospital since the crash.
Reports from the Marathon County Sheriff's Department show deputies checked the computer system inside the squad car. Law enforcement officials say they do not believe the officer was distracted by the computer at the time of the crash.
UPDATE - The Marathon County Sheriff's Department has released the name of the man who was hit by a Wausau Police car. He is 89 year old Chang Thao of Wausau
An 89-year-old year man is in critical condition after he was hit by a Wausau Police squad car Tuesday night.
Wausau Police Department officials tell us one of their officers hit a pedestrian walking in the street. This happened during a power outage, and it was all caught on tape.
"He didn't notice the gentleman that entered into his traffic lane," said Wausau Deputy Chief Bryan Hilts.
Wausau Police Department officials say Officer Shawn Pierschalla was driving southbound on 17th Avenue when he hit an 89-year-old man walking in the street. When the officer hit the pedestrian, he turned on his emergency lights, which in response triggered the video system in the squad car.
"Our video system has a 30 second buffer on it so the 30 seconds prior to turning on the lights was captured on the video, which did capture the squad striking the gentleman," said Deputy Chief Hilts.
Newsline 9 has decided not to show the moment of impact.
"One of our patrol cars was traveling south on 17th Avenue in the left lane, he did not notice a gentleman that entered his lane of traffic, he was wearing a dark jacket with the hood up, there were also cars approaching from the southbound traveling northbound, so the headlights from the other vehicles complicated the visibility of the situation as well," said Hilts.
Investigators say the officer was going 24 miles in a 25 MPH zone.
"He was traveling under the speed limit under poor lighting conditions with on coming traffic headlights and the pedestrian was in an area none of us would ever expect to see a pedestrian," said Hilts.
The crash is being handled by The Marathon County Sheriff's Department. Authorities will tell us the 89-year-old man is in critical condition and was taken to Aspirus Hospital.