A Quad-City police officer suffered serious injuries late Monday morning after his squad car was struck by a stolen garbage truck near Buffalo.
Scott County Sheriff Tim Lane said the officer, who was not in his vehicle at the time of the collision, was airlifted to University Hospitals, Iowa City. He declined to identify the officer and his agency, adding that those details likely would be released Tuesday morning.
Lane, who fought back tears during an interview with reporters near the scene of the accident, confirmed that the officer's immediate family was notified about the incident.
Buffalo City Council member Olin Meador later told the Quad-City Times that the officer involved in the crash is Buffalo Police Chief Terry "TJ" Behning.
Meador answered calls about the accident Monday afternoon at Buffalo City Hall.
"Everybody in town is worried about our police chief," he said. "He's that good of a guy."
Two men have been taken into custody in connection with the incident, Lane said.
Driver charged with attempt to commit murder
The driver, Logan Shoemaker, 20, has been charged with attempt to commit murder, serious injury by vehicle, robbery first degree, theft second degree, stalking and other charges. Police allege he threatened the life of the garbage truck driver before taking possession of the vehicle, according to a news release.
Lane said one of the men — later identified as Shoemaker — had been under investigation by the Davenport Police Department for a “serious stalking issue, where it was predetermined that this person definitely needed to be brought into custody."
Once they located him near Credit Island Park in Davenport, he and a second man took off in a red pickup and a chase ensued. The vehicle drove out of Davenport on U.S. 61 and turned north on Y48, also known as West Lake Park Road, and then turned onto a gravel road at 145th Street, also known as Telegraph Road, which parallels U.S. 61, toward Blue Grass.
There was a lot of dust on the road, and the pickup crashed. At that time, one of the men, who deputies believe was the passenger in the vehicle, was taken into custody.
Then, the man believed to be the driver took a garbage truck and drove through Blue Grass, where there was a minor accident.
The garbage truck continued toward the intersection of Y40, also known as Red Ball Road, and Iowa 22, where an officer was out of his squad car to deploy stop sticks to try to flatten the vehicle's tires.
It appears the garbage truck swerved toward the officer’s squad car and struck it. The officer suffered severe injuries.
The driver was arrested and taken to a Quad-City hospital for treatment of non-life-threatening injuries, Lane said.
He did not know how fast the pickup was driving at the time of the initial pursuit.
Lane said he did not know how the man acquired the garbage truck. He said the truck belongs to Republic Services and was being used for business purposes in that area.
An accident reconstruction team was called to the scene.
(Tara Becker contributed to this story.)