Off-duty officer involved in crash previously disciplined 5 time - WSMV News 4

Off-duty officer involved in crash previously disciplined 5 times for driving incidents

Posted: Updated:
Off-duty Algood police officer Christopher Ferguson was involved in a crash in Smithville. (Photo: WJLE) Off-duty Algood police officer Christopher Ferguson was involved in a crash in Smithville. (Photo: WJLE)
James and Rena Cryer survived a crash involving an off-duty Algood police officer. (WSMV) James and Rena Cryer survived a crash involving an off-duty Algood police officer. (WSMV)
SMITHVILLE, TN (WSMV) -

An off-duty police officer who hit the car of an elderly couple remains on the job tonight.

A serious collision in which a police officer admits he was speeding isn’t the most troubling finding by the News 4 I-Team.

The I-Team looked into that officer’s driving history on the job and found a pattern.


RELATED COVERAGE: THP investigating fatal crash involving off-duty Murfreesboro police officerDA awaiting evidence in fatal crash involving off-duty Murfreesboro officer


Rena Cryer remembers the moment her car flipped through the air last May.

“I thought, ‘Oh god, please, I don’t want to die right now, I got grandkids, I got to get back home to,’” she remembered.

Rena Cryer and her husband, James, survived, only to learn the other car in the crash was driven by off-duty Algood police officer Christopher Ferguson.

Ferguson admits he was speeding that day in Smithville, according to an e-mail sent from Algood City Manager Keith Morrison.

Ferguson received a verbal reprimand for the incident.

A News 4 I-Team investigation found this is hardly the first time Ferguson has been disciplined for his involvements in car accidents.

“Something needs to be done about it,” Cryer said.

An incident report from the Tennessee Highway Patrol reveals it wasn’t Ferguson, but the Cryers who were found to have made an error for failing to yield to oncoming traffic.

Ferguson, who was in a station vehicle, struck the Cryer’s car as they were pulling out from a parking lot, according to the report.

But the reason the Cryers said they failed to yield is that they never saw the police officer’s car until the impact.

“We did not see anything coming at us or even realize anything dangerous was happening until it just happened,” Rena Cryer said.

The I-Team’s review of Ferguson’s history raises red flags.

When he worked for the Cookeville Police Department, Ferguson was disciplined five times for “preventable accidents.”

At one point, Ferguson even lost his privilege to use a take-home vehicle.

Records show he damaged his patrol car while driving on black ice, making an improper lane change, hitting a stop sign, and hitting a mailbox.

His personnel file reveals after Ferguson hit a semi-truck, the department recommended Ferguson be terminated or resign.

Ferguson resigned. In 2015, he joined the Algood Police Department.

The I-Team called the city manager, Keith Morrison.

“Did you ever check this officer’s driving history before hiring him?” asked reporter Alanna Autler in a message to Morrison.

The I-Team is still awaiting a response from Morrison.

Seven months later, as the District Attorney reviews the case, all the Cryers hope is this:

“I want justice done. Whatever it has to be,” Cryer said. “I think something ought to be done.”

The city of Algood declined requests for an interview.

THP would also not comment on the case since the investigation is ongoing.

Earlier this year, the News 4 I-Team dug into another crash involving off-duty Murfreesboro police officer Jason McGriff.

A THP incident report shows McGriff hit a stopped car on I-24 in June.

The crash killed an elderly passenger. Last week a Rutherford County grand jury chose not to indict McGriff.

Copyright 2017 WSMV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

  • Off-duty officer involved in crash previously disciplined five times for driving incidentsMore>>

Powered by Frankly
WSMV
Powered by WorldNow CNN
All content © 2018, WSMV; Nashville, TN. (A Meredith Corporation Station) . All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy, and Terms of Service, and Ad Choices.