When Yakima police Officer Lynn Thorn’s voice came over the police radio midmorning Thursday, her fellow officers could tell she needed help. She struggled to say she’d been in an accident on Lincoln Avenue.
When the dispatcher asked her for a cross street, she didn’t respond.
“You could hear it in her voice that she was hurt,” Sgt. Jay Seely said.
About 20 police officers raced to find Thorn.
They found the 33-year-old officer in her cruiser a couple hundred feet from where she’d collided with a Cadillac carrying a man and three young children.
Police said the Cadillac was entering Lincoln from Custer Avenue when the two cars collided. The Cadillac ended up in the front yard of a nearby home, while Thorn’s cruiser continued west before drifting to a stop in the eastbound lanes.
“She’s pretty banged up,” Capt. Rod Light, a department spokesman, said at the scene.
Police shut down two blocks of Lincoln Avenue as emergency responders treated the drivers and passengers.
Thorn was taken to Yakima Regional Medical and Cardiac Center, and was expected to be released by Thursday afternoon, police said. A hospital spokesman said Thursday evening the hospital had no record of her.
She joined the department in October 2008 and currently is a school resource officer. She previously worked as an officer for the Toppenish Police Department.
The 30-year-old man driving the Cadillac was also taken to a city hospital, but his condition was unavailable Thursday evening.
The children — two girls, ages 6 and 10, and a 3-year-old boy — in the Cadillac were not hurt. A relative picked them up from the scene.
Police are still investigating the crash. Drugs, alcohol and excessive speed didn’t appear to be factors, Light said.
The Cadillac’s driver appeared to have an unobstructed view for several blocks, but a witness said there was no indication that the officer tried to slow down prior to the crash.
Jason Rozier was on the sidewalk a few feet away when the collision happened. The Yakima resident was walking his dog, and had stopped at the corner of Custer and Lincoln, waiting for the Cadillac to pull out before he crossed Custer.
“I was looking at that Cadillac, and saw a black streak out of the corner of my eye — and boom! Then I realized it was a cop car,” Rozier said.
Before impact, “there was no skidding or nothing,” he said.
The accident was the first this year involving a Yakima police officer, said Seely, who runs the department’s traffic and transit enforcement unit.
In March 2008, a Yakima police officer was seriously injured when his motorcycle hit a minivan at the intersection of North 24th and Summitview avenues. Officer Darryl Henning was seriously injured, but was able to return to work later that year.
• This online article has been updated to correct the spelling of Darryl Henning’s name.