Cyclist struck head-on by distracted Peculiar, Mo. police officer

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PECULIAR, Mo. - A cyclist riding through Peculiar was left sore and in disbelief Thursday night after being hit by an SUV, which was driven by an on-duty police officer. The cause of the crash was admitted inattentive driving.

"I was traveling eastbound on 211 Street on the Raymore - Peculiar line. I had stopped at the stop sign with the intersection at County Road J. There were cars coming in both directions. I didn't feel comfortable pulling out so I waited a little bit," William Fasanello told FOX4.

As Fasanello waited, he saw a Peculiar police cruiser driven by Officer Charles Wallace approach the intersection.

"When he started making his turn, I noticed it was too sharp and it was way too late even attempting jumping out of the way," Fasanello recalled.

Officer Wallace admitted to Fasanello that he was distracted.

"Why were you texting?" Fasanello asks in the video.

"I wasn`t texting. I was looking at my phone," the officer responds, later apologizing and saying that he wasn't paying attention.

"I mean there were a lot of thoughts going through my head in a very short amount of time, the first one, being he is not looking at me, he is looking at his phone, and two being this is really going to hurt," Fasanello said. "The curb weight on a Ford Explorer Police Interceptor is about 4,600-pounds, so when you say you got hit by a pile of bricks, it is not an exaggeration."

Fasanello walked away with minor injuries.

"Very, very sore. I feel the tenderness on my elbows, I have bruises on my shins," he described.

His ankles, hands, back, and his bike didn't fare so well. He estimates it's worth $7,000.

"As you can see the handlebars got twisted, the impact most likely caused micro-fractures in the frame," Fasanello said.

"Pretty much demolished the electronic shifting system. You know at the very least the department owes me a formal apology, and they owe me a replacement bike that does the exact same function as the old one, plus medical bills of course."

With the injuries to him and his bike, Fasanello had this to say about Officer Wallace.

"Fortunately he just outright admitted fault, he said he was reading a text from a fellow officer he just received. He should exercise a little more what they used to call common sense. You are baffled at the utter irresponsibility of someone who does that," Fasanello said.

The Peculiar police chief told FOX4 that Officer Wallace passed a drug and alcohol test, and is on paid leave until the investigation is complete. The Missouri Highway Patrol is working with the Cass County prosecutor to decide whether to file charges.

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