Middletown Township police officer, Chris Jones, was killed in the line of duty on Route 1 in Middletown Township, Pennsylvania, near the exits to I-95, on Thursday, January 29, 2009 while conducting a traffic stop. Officer Jones pulled over a speeding vehicle on the right shoulder of northbound Route 1. He had completed his traffic stop when, while walking back to his police cruiser, he was struck by an oncoming vehicle. It is reported that a Toyota Corolla, which was being driven at excessive speed, hit a Pontiac Grand Prix and then plowed into Jones’ cruiser. The Toyota is said to have pinned Jones beneath his police cruiser near the driver-side door, crushing him.
Officer Jones was pulled out from beneath his car and transported to St. Mary Medical Center in Langhorne, PA. He was pronounced dead two hours later from head injuries.
The driver of the Pontiac Grand Prix, Ignacio Gomez of New Jersey, told police that the other drivers on the road were slowing down and moving over to the left travel lanes. However, Gomez recalls, he (Gomez) was struck from behind by the Toyota Corolla. The Toyota, still moving, swerved around Gomez’s Grand Prix and hit the police car, which caused the police office to be knocked to the ground.
The individual driving the Toyota Corolla which struck Officer Jones has yet to be identified by authorities, but it has been confirmed that the driver is a Middletown Township resident. The accident remains under investigation by Pennsylvania State Police and several local police departments, as well as the Bucks County, PA District Attorney’s office.
Middletown police chief, Frank McKenna, had the highest praise for 10-year veteran officer Chris Jones, as did many of his grief stricken fellow officers. McKenna noted that Jones is the first Middletown police officer to die in the line of duty in the department’s 57-year existence.
Chris Jones was a graduate of Bensalem High School in 1989 and served seven years in the U.S. Navy as a chief petty officer 2nd class. Jones joined the Middletown Township police force in 1998. Jones left behind a wife, Suzanne, two sons, Christopher, and Brendan, and a daughter, Julianne.
Mrs. Jones, on behalf of her family, could open a Bucks County estate and bring a Bucks County wrongful death case against the speeding driver. Hopefully for the Jones family, the speeding driver had ample car insurance coverage. Most likely the speeding driver who caused the Bucks County car accident will not have enough coverage to compensate the Jones family for all of their losses. Perhaps the Middletown Township Police department has some kind of extra insurance coverage for underinsured drivers who cause injuries to officers while on duty.