A Massachusetts man walking home barefoot after being involved in a car crash was struck by a police cruiser last week as it raced to a 911 call, leaving him hospitalized and unable to walk, prompting an investigation into how the incident unfolded.
Chris Divens, 29, of Randolph, was first involved in a crash near the corner of North Main and Grove streets on Aug. 25, he said. Police towed his car because of the damage and because they said he was driving an uninsured and unregistered car without a license.
Divens said police wouldn't allow him to retrieve his shoes from his car, which left him no choice but to walk home barefoot.
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As he tried to cross the street around 9:30 p.m., Divens said a police officer en route to an unrelated domestic violence call ran him over, leaving him with multiple injuries, including a broken pelvis, spinal cord injuries and severe road rash.
"I remember my face hitting the car, and then I just felt concrete on all sides of me," he recalled. "Like I was just, you know, flipping across the concrete."
Divens, who was hospitalized for several days, is now recovering at a rehabilitation center. He said he can't move his right leg and may not be able to walk on his own again for another year.
Divens, who said he regularly records his phone calls, was on the phone with his wife when the cruiser struck him.
"Hello? I just got hit by a cop car," he said.
"What? Oh my God! What happened?" his wife replied.
In another recording he provided to NBC10 Boston, screeching tires are heard before a loud thud.
Divens said he hasn't heard from investigators, and he and his family want answers.
Both his wife and his mother have been staging protests outside the police station each night since the crash, calling for justice and expressing disapproval that the officer is still employed.
In a statement, Randolph Police Chief William Pace said, in part: "We have absolutely no information at this time to indicate that this was anything other than a deeply unfortunate incident."
Pace, who didn't identify the officer involved in the crash, has turned over the investigation to Quincy police in an effort to avoid any conflicts of interest.
The officer is on paid leave, police said.
Pace said he plans to release the outcome of the investigation once it's completed.