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Delaware Police Chief Reacts to Cruiser-Pedestrian Crash

DELAWARE (Tom Bosco) -- An officer is in trouble after hitting a college student with his cruiser.

Officer Mark Jackson sent Caroline Welker, 21, to the hospital after striking her around 12:30 a.m. Nov. 28 at the intersection of North Sandusky Street and East Central Avenue.

The junior, who plays on Ohio Wesleyan University's basketball team, sustained a concussion. She woke up at Grady Memorial Hospital with no recollection of what happened.

Jackson pleaded guilty to failure to yield and paid a $135 fine.

This was not Jackson's first collision on the job, and not the only time a cruiser struck a student pedestrian at that same intersection.

Just two days before striking Welker, Jackson reportedly hit a guardrail while trying to assist a stranded driver.

A few days after Welker was sent to the hospital, an officer struck another OWU student pedestrian. That student declined medical treatment.

The student's father, Rex Welker, said the police chief has apologized to him and his daughter.

"Actually called her twice and came over yesterday and saw her," he said. "So he's been very good."

Delaware Police Chief Bruce Pijanowski released a statement relaying the department's concern for Welker's recovery.

"As protectors of the public, it is extremely upsetting that she was injured," he wrote.

Welker is expected to recover at home before returning to the basketball court in January.

"I'm sure she's disappointed," Rex Welker said. "Basketball has been her passion for a long time. She's always been a good athlete and missing games has always been tough on her."
 
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