Neighbors describe frantic moments before, after crash that killed LMPD officer

Updated: Mar. 29, 2017 at 7:08 PM EDT
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Officer Nick Rodman was killed in the line of duty on Tuesday. (Source: LMPD)
Officer Nick Rodman was killed in the line of duty on Tuesday. (Source: LMPD)

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) – James Newton was in his yard on Duncan Street when the police car flew by.

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"Next thing I know I heard a bunch of sirens," Newton said.

Seconds later, Officer Nick Rodman tried to turn left onto 26th Street from Duncan when he was hit on the front left side of the car, nearly head-on.

Newton said the impact sent the police cruiser flying and spinning 180 degrees in the air, landing on the other side of Duncan Street.

Responding officers rushed Rodman to University Hospital.

"There was fire on the hood and all," Newton said. "It was bad."

+ LMPD Officer Nick Rodman dies following chase, crash

Multiple witness videos show the frantic moments after the crash and the driver of the other car on the ground. Police Chief Steve Conrad said Wednesday afternoon that the other driver was the target of the chase, which started after a report of shots fired in a domestic incident.

One of those witnesses, Doug Gibson, filmed the crash that left Rodman fighting for his life until he was pronounced dead Wednesday at 3:40 p.m.

"The other guy was just laying on the ground," Gibson said. "If that was me or something, I'd want them to pick me up, put me in the cop car and take me straight to the hospital."

Police said the suspect suffered injuries that are not life-threatening. His identity has not been released.

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A neighbor named Stan Kraft lives near the corner and said he's not surprised by the wreck.

"Before they put that red light up, there was wrecks there all the time," Kraft said. "You're blocked off, all four ways, you've got to creep out."

Neighbors said the chase was too dangerous to be worth it despite the charges.

"There's a school right up the street, man," Cody Hawkins said.

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