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Officer injured in accident released from hospital

By Staff | Sep 7, 2010

A Cape Coral police officer has been released from the hospital after he sustained serious injuries last week in a traffic accident.
Officer Philip Mullen Jr., 30, was trauma-alerted to Lee Memorial Hospital after the police cruiser he was operating struck a guardrail and a concrete barrier at Embers Parkway and Northwest 13th Place on Thursday. He was initially listed in serious condition, a Florida Highway Patrol report states.
Mullen had been treated and released as of Tuesday, according to Karen Krieger, a spokeswoman for the Lee Memorial Health System.
Lt. Chris Miller, a FHP spokesman, reported Tuesday that an investigation revealed a second “phantom” vehicle was involved in the crash. Mullen was responding to a call with his lights and sirens active when a second vehicle crossed in front of his path, causing Mullen to swerve to avoid a collision.
Mullen lost control of his cruiser, which resulted in the accident. Miller said the second vehicle was traveling south on Northwest 13th Avenue, and Mullen was traveling at an estimated speed of 73 mph when he lost control.
“It appears the investigation is complete,” he said.
Mullen was not issued a traffic citation in the accident.
“The only violation that occurred was the vehicle that pulled out in front of the officer,” Miller said. “If any other information is obtained on the other vehicle, we’ll reopen the case.”
According to the FHP report, Mullen was traveling west on Embers in the inside lane and approaching the Northwest 13th Place intersection when he began to apply his brakes and veer into the outside lane. When he entered the lane, Mullen overcorrected and the cruiser rotated, striking a guardrail.
The vehicle continued to rotate, partially overturning on its side, before it approached a concrete barrier, the report states. The police cruiser came to a stop with its front tires resting on top of the barrier, located on Embers.
Connie Barron, a spokeswoman for the Cape police, reported that Mullen works in the North District with Platoon 4. He has been employed with the Cape agency since December 2007.
Anyone with information on the second “phantom” vehicle is asked to contact the Florida Highway Patrol by dialing *FHP (347) or by calling the FHP’s Fort Myers station at 278-7100.