Minneapolis police to re-evaluate NFL team escorts
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) The Minneapolis Police Department is re-evaluating its escort policy for NFL teams, following the recent crash of buses carrying the Washington Redskins on their way to play the Minnesota Vikings.
Police spokesman John Elder said Thursday that the department will not be providing any escorts until that re-evaluation has been completed.
Two buses transporting players, coaches and team personnel from the Redskins collided on an interstate exit ramp a few blocks away from TCF Bank Stadium. The crash occurred when a squad car with the escort hit a guard rail in front of the buses. Injuries from the impact were minor, but running back Silas Redd was held out of the game because of back spasms.
Elder said an ongoing internal investigation prohibits specific comment on the crash. He said the escort program was re-examined a few years ago, producing a policy specific for NFL teams.
The next home game for the Vikings is Nov. 23 against the Green Bay Packers, and it was unclear whether the MPD's review would be completed in time for that. Police escorts to games and airports are a standard practice around the NFL for visiting teams, which reimburse the cost to the corresponding authorities.
The Redskins lost to the Vikings 29-26, and their day could've started even worse were it not for some deft maneuvering by the driver of the lead bus.
''A lot of guys had their lives flash before their eyes. Not a good moment,'' quarterback Robert Griffin III said after the game.
According to the full accident report released Thursday by the Minnesota State Patrol:
The police officer positioned in the rear of the motorcade was ordered by the supervisor to pass the buses on the left as they exited Interstate Highway 94. The officer used the grass median to pass in front of the first bus but lost control as she crossed and spun into the guardrail on the left side of the ramp, blocking the roadway.
The driver of the first bus braked to avoid the squad car, causing the second bus to rear-end the first bus and push it off the ramp to the right. The first bus swerved to the left, through the guard rail, and back onto the ramp.
The police officer was taken to a hospital for treatment of a minor leg injury.
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