Reporting Reg Chapman
SAVAGE, Minn. (WCCO) — A Savage, Minn. police officer was critically injured after a crash overnight.
The crash happened around 1:15 a.m. Monday at the intersection of West 137th Street and Glendale Road. The squad crashed into a tree.
“The roads were icy at the time. The officer was responding to an emergency call and lost control on the icy roadway, leaving the roadway, striking a tree on the passenger side door of the squad,” said Minnesota State Patrol Lt. Tiffany Nielson.
Authorities said the officer inside was 39-year-old Frank Mackall, a crime scene technician who was responding to emergency call when he apparently lost control.
Three Savage Police officers were six blocks away from his location at 137th and Glendale, checking out a prowler in the area.
Investigators said his seat belt may have saved his life. It appeared rescue crews had to pull the door off to get the officer out.
“Fortunately the officer was seat-belted. He had to be cut out and removed from the vehicle, and that certainly is playing a role in him surviving the crash,” Nielson said.
Mackall was flown to North Memorial Medical Center. He is currently listed in critical condition.
“The helicopter was just taking off when I arrived here. Obviously the officers and firefighters who responded were quite shaken,” said Capt. David Muelken with the Savage Police Department.
After the helicopter took off, all of the officers on duty in Savage went to North Memorial to be with him and his family. Mackall has a wife and three children, ages 15, 10 and 6. Police in Burnsville and deputies in Scott County took over duties in Savage until day shift comes in to work.
Officers from agencies across the metro have been visible, going in and out of North Memorial, in support of Mackall, who has been with the Savage Police Department for four years. Before that, he worked in Woodbury.
Tiffany Nelson, of the State Patrol, said you can never underestimate slick driving conditions. She reminded you should always drive slower than you think you need.
“It has a significant effect on all of us in law enforcement. Emergency driving is very dangerous,” said Muelken.
This is unknown territory for the Savage Police Department; it’s the first time an officer has been involved in a serious accident.
The State Patrol continues to investigate the crash.