Helena Police SUV struck by impaired driver - WBRC FOX6 News - Birmingham, AL

Helena Police SUV struck by impaired driver

Source: Helena PD Source: Helena PD

The damage to Helena Police Officer Philip Richards’ SUV is bad enough.

But the situation could have been a lot worse.

It happened early Tuesday morning when an impaired driver hit the back of Richards’ truck.

“Officer Richards was not in the vehicle. He was not hurt in any way,” said Helena Police Chief Pete Folmar.

He says his officer was directing traffic at Helena Intermediate School when the man, Nathan Bowden, ran into him. 

Folmar says Bowden was impaired--perhaps under the influence of some sort of a prescription drug. 

Folmar says he does not know if the drugs were legal or not.

But he says officers don’t have to determine that when filing the specific DUI charge they filed.

“Impaired drivers can be found anytime, day or night, anywhere in the U.S.  It's just a fact of life,” Folmar said.

Folmar says the school and parking lot were far enough away that students who may have been going into school weren't in harm's way.

“But certainly this car could have struck a car with children in it as opposed to an empty police car. And that would be a tragic thing if a child were injured…or anyone. We're fortunate, especially in this congested area, that the impaired driver struck the only empty vehicle on the street,” he said.

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