GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) - An investigation following a car-bike accident involving GRPD Chief Kevin Belk found the bicyclist to be at fault in the incident June 19.
"I've been involved in a, it appears to be a PI (personal injury) right now at Leonard and Scribner," Belk told the dispatcher after the crash . "A bicyclist drove in front of me.""
Around 1 p.m., Belk left City Hall and was headed north on Scribner when two kids on one bike came out of the west. He made it through the intersection at Leonard when the bike darted out in front of him.
"If there was anything I could have done to avoid it, I certainly would have," he told 24 Hour News 8.
The chief admitted he was on his cell phone at the time, but that it wasn't up to his ear. The cell phone was in his hand resting on the arm rest, he told investigators.
The 42-page report, prepared by GRPD traffic investigators and reviewed by the Michigan State Police, concluded Belk did nothing wrong. He had the green light at Leonard. The report was more in-depth than usual for a minor accident -- one teen on the bike wasn't injured, the other treated for minor bumps.
Belk said it was a reminder that even the best drivers need to watch for the unexpected.
"Really, it's just being ever-vigilant as you can, looking out for the unpredictable, looking for things that they didn't expect and being ready to respond at a moments notice," he said.
The investigation found the teen in control of the bike was at fault and violated a city ordinance by carrying a passenger on his handlebars.
No one appears to have been cited in the incident, police reports obtained by 24 Hour News 8 reveal.
But Belk said he's still dealing with the emotional impact, and said the accident gave him a new perspective on the people his officers deal with day in and day out.
"The amount of major trauma and violent crime that we deal with, sometimes you become less sensitive to the minor things out there in life, and realizing that when it's you who's involved in it, it certainly has a whole new perspective."
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