Police SUV crashes into window
December 21, 2005
Greg Schirf figured it was a wrong number when his ringing cell phone woke him up at about 3 a.m. on Sunday.
But on the line was a sergeant from the Park City Police Department telling Schirf of a traffic accident at the Wasatch Brew Pub, the restaurant-brewery that Schirf owns at the southern end of Main Street.
"He said somebody ran into the front of your Brew Pub building," Schirf said on Tuesday.
The sergeant then told him that it was a police car that crashed into the Brew Pub, Schirf said.
The police Ford Explorer smashed a huge window on the Main Street side of the Brew Pub.
"It shattered, one person said a million, but I think it was 2 million pieces," Schirf said.
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The window was 8 feet wide and 16 feet tall, he said.
Police Chief Lloyd Evans acknowledged that a police car was involved. He said an internal review is underway and that the police requested that the Summit County Sheriff’s Office investigate the incident. Sheriff Dave Edmunds on Tuesday morning had not been briefed about the incident and did not have details of the accident. Evans said police officers were on Main Street early Sunday morning enforcing snow-related parking regulations on the street. The Explorer was assigned to Barry Robinson, an officer in the department’s reserve corps, Evans said. Robinson and another officer were preparing to have a car towed when the Explorer, which was not occupied, rolled, Evans said. He said the Explorer rolled backwards, which was downhill, struck a parked car and then hit the window at the Brew Pub. Evans said he assumes the Explorer rolled from the west side of Main Street, across the street, over the sidewalk on the east side and into the window. He bases his assumption on the accident scene and the street, Evans said. "My sense is is that they were uphill from the Brew Pub on the opposite side of the road," Evans said. He was unsure on Tuesday if the Explorer was running when the accident occurred and whether the SUV was in park. Evans said officers on duty at the time notified him at about 4:30 a.m. The chief declined to offer a more detailed assessment of the accident until he had gathered more information. He would not discuss potential disciplinary actions but said they would depend on the investigations’ findings. When he talked to the police, Schirf said he asked if the accident resulted from a police chase but was told that was not the case. "Mysteriously, the car jumped into reverse with no one in it," Schirf surmises. He said the Brew Pub suffered a minimum of $5,000 in damage and said that City Hall has offered to pay. Schirf said the Brew Pub was open for normal business hours on Sunday and remains open. Still, he said, the restaurant is fielding calls from people wondering if the Brew Pub is open. He is unhappy that the accident happened as holiday crowds arrive and as Park City enters one of its busiest weeks. "It’s very discouraging and the timing could not have been worse," Schirf said.