Capitol Police officers were cited for causing an Oct. 26 car crash that injured Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.
That’s according to the Nevada Highway Patrol after an investigation into the accident on Interstate 15 in Las Vegas. The Nevada Democrat has protection from the Capitol Police because of his role as Majority Leader. Officers from the department regularly transport him and other top Congressional leaders.
In the incident report, Officer Michael William Percival was cited for making an unsafe lane change. The Las Vegas Review-Journal first reported the release of the report.
The highway patrol also cited Melvin Eugene Proctor Jr. of the Capitol Police, for following too close. Reid was a passenger in that vehicle in the multi-car motorcade, which included two of the six vehicles involved in the chain-reaction crash.
Cory Mikkelson of the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department, was also cited by the highway patrol for following too close.
One vehicle involved apparently left the scene of the accident, which explains discrepancies in earlier reports about the number of vehicles involved in the accident.
Senate Sergeant-at-Arms Terrance Gainer, who also in his career served as Capitol Police Chief, told Roll Call this afternoon that he had not yet seen the police report but that he had been briefed on it.
“I don’t know that there necessarily will be discipline,” Gainer said. “Perhaps whatever happens in traffic court, where that goes, could be enough.”
Gainer said he was familiar with the structure and traffic flow of the road where the crash in Nevada occurred and can see how it might have transpired. He also said he can be sympathetic to what he thinks must have been only an accident.
“They are truly good, hard-working people, and in my police days — I’ve been driving police cars for 44 years — and I’ve had a couple of crashes. It happens,” Gainer said.
“Police officers, they drive a lot, and the more miles you accumulate, the more likely it is you are going to have a crash,” he added. “The odds of having an accident are just against you.”
“Senator Reid and his security detail were involved in a traffic accident today on Interstate 15 in Las Vegas. Senator Reid was taken to University Medical Center Hospital by his security detail as a precaution, and walked in on his own,” Reid’s office said in the statement last week.
Vice President Joe Biden waits to conduct a mock swearing-in ceremony with Sen. Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, in the Capitol's Old Senate Chamber, December 2, 2014. Schatz was sworn in to serve the remainder of his term since he was appointed to the seat after Sen. Daniel Inouye, D-Hawaii, passed away.