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Emmaus woman sues Bethlehem police for accident

By 69 News, follow: @69news, news@wfmz.com
Published On: Jan 20 2014 03:38:01 PM CST

BETHLEHEM, Pa. -

An Emmaus woman is suing a Bethlehem police officer, the police department and the city for more than $50,000 in Lehigh County Court.

The lawsuit stems from an early morning September traffic accident in the city.

At 2:23 a.m. Sept. 15, Amber Krasley was driving her 2004 Nissan Xterra west on West Third Street in Bethlehem.  She was approaching the intersection with Broadhead Avenue and had a green light.

Bethlehem police officer William Audelo of Hellertown was driving a police SUV, a 2013 Ford Explorer, north on Broadhead Avenue, approaching the same intersection.

According to the suit, Audelo was responding as back-up to a routine traffic stop, but was speeding toward the  W. Third Street intersection with no emergency lights or sirens turned on. The traffic light he was approaching was red.

As Krasley entered the intersection, her vehicle was "violently struck" by Audelo's police car. Her suit maintains Audelo did not stop for the red light or even apply his brakes at the intersection.

The suit also maintains Audelo did not activate his siren and only activated his emergency lights "a split second" before stiking Krasley's car.

That was confirmed by a witness named Zohar Pizarro, according to the suit, who said Krasley had no opportunity to react to, or even see, the emergency lights. Pizarro said he just missed also being hit by the police vehicle.

The suit contends Audelo operated his police car in a negligent manner, including traveling at an excessive rate of speed and going through a red light without first activating his siren and emergency lights -- in violation of state law.

It also maintains Bethlehem police "conducted an extremely biased investigation with the hopes of pinning the blame for the accident" on Krasley. It maintains the investigation should have been conducted by an outside, neutral party.

The suit says Krasley immediately was subjected to numerous field sobriety tests, despite any visible signs of intoxication.

Krasley suffered "serious and painful injuries" requiring medical care  including a concussion, neck, shoulder and back injuries, post-concussive syndrome, mild cognitive impairment, anxiety and depression. The suite maintains she continues to require treatment for those injuries.

Bethlehem Police Chief Mark DiLuzio had no comment on the lawsuit, indicating he has not yet seen it.

It was filed Dec. 31 by Atty. Kevin Clancy Boylan of Fellerman & Ciarimboli Law in Kingston, Luzerne County.