Police car crash results in additional training for local officers

Last December's car crash with Police Officer Jose Navarro at the wheel has resulted in extra training for the city's law enforcement personnel.

Officer Jose Navarro was escorting a funeral procession on Dec. 24, 2007 when he lost control of his police cruiser on a patch of ice while traveling at a high rate of speed.

Navarro's vehicle slammed into Valley Processing Plant in Sunnyside, damaging a building and several stainless steel juice tanks.

"We used it (the accident) to refresh everyone's memory about safe driving," Radder said.

The additional training will help officers navigate a skid that Navarro found himself in. Radder said a course the Hanford Patrol runs has an actual skid pad that recreates those types of situations.

Sunnyside City Manager Mark Kunkler said the crash caused damage in the $400,000 range to Valley Processing. The company and Sunnyside's insurance company are working out the estimates still.

The car Navarro was driving was totaled.

As for Navarro, he was disciplined by having 80 hours of pay forfeited and is required to complete vehicle defensive training with an emphasis on skid control.


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