UPDATE: Cyclist hit by Dalton police officer - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

UPDATE: Cyclist hit by Dalton police officer

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DALTON, GA (WRCB) -

UPDATE: The Georgia State Patrol is investigating an early morning crash Thursday involving a Dalton police officer and a person riding a bike.

Investigators spent nearly five hours reconstructing the crash scene after the accident in Dalton.

Bruce Frazier with the Dalton Police Department believes that Officer Allexis Rittenhouse had a green light and the victim, Earnest Harry Cooper, 54, of Dalton, was crossing during a red light.

"One of our officers was driving northbound on Thornton Avenue when someone on a bicycle crossed in front of the officer and the officer struck the bicyclist,” Frazier said.

Investigators said Cooper was thrown from his bike and has some broken bones as a result of the crash.

Though the accident happened in city limits the Georgia State Patrol is leading the investigation because a Dalton police officer was involved.   

"There’s no need to you know come back in and reconstruct it later, they just went ahead and did all the imaging and everything to make sure all the evidence they needed to complete the investigation,” Frazier said.

There were no witnesses to the crash, but GSP Trooper Abraham Chiesa said they are reviewing dash cam video from the patrol car and it does not appear the officer was responding to a call.

"We’re not sure at this time, but we were able to view the video and it just appears to be patrol speed, it didn't appear as if she was traveling at a high rate of speed,” Trooper Chiesa said.

The officer was not hurt and is expected to be okay.

"The officer is a bit shaken up as you can imagine, physically unharmed, no injuries from the crash, but obviously that's something that will shake you up,” Frazier explained.

Investigators say the cyclist was not wearing a helmet or reflective gear.

Right now, he is being treated at Hamilton Medical Center for significant injuries.

"Bicycles have to pertain to Georgia law, vehicle law and it would be running a red light,” Trooper Chiesa said.

No one has been formally charged in the accident, but if GSP finds either person at fault they could face charges.

Right now the officer is on paid administrative leave from the police department, which we're told is standard anytime there is an accident involving injury.

Stay with Channel 3 for updates as this story develops.


PREVIOUS UPDATE: The Georgia State Patrol is investigating a crash involving a Dalton Police Department officer and a person riding a bicycle Thursday morning.

Bruce Frazier, the Public Information with the Dalton Police Department said it happened at the intersection of Thornton Avenue and Cuyler Street at 12:47 a.m.

Frazier said DPD officer was traveling northbound on Thornton Avenue when the bicycle crossed the road traveling eastbound along Cuyler when he was hit.

In a statement to Channel 3, DPD said that preliminary indications are that the officer had a green light and the pedestrian was crossing on a red light. 

The victim was transported to Hamilton Medical Center with significant injuries.

No updates are available on his condition.

His name is not being released at this time pending notification of his family. 

Frazier said that the officer involved is okay, but is shaken up.

Stay with Channel 3 for updates as this story develops.

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