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Two City Police Officers Ticketed For DUI In Crash At Millville Church

MILLVILLE – In early September, 2 city police officers were charged for DUI following an accident on a Carmel Road church and now the case is under criminal review by the Prosecutor’s Office.

On the evening of 3rd of September, officers Michael McLaughlin Jr. and Charles Twigg were not on duty when the green 1974 Chevrolet Corvette they were riding in veered off the roadway at about 9 p.m. and crashed into St. Nicholas Ukrainian Catholic Church.

A crash report provided to The Daily Journal showed that both men were thrown out from the vehicle.

The motor vehicle belonged to Twigg but he permitted McLaughlin to drive it that night, according to police. Authorities told that both were under drunk.

29-year-old McLaughlin had a BAC level of .092 percent, according to police Chief Thomas Haas. Twigg’s BAC level was not measured as he was a passenger.

Both men were charged for DUI and not wearing a seat belt while riding in a motor vehicle.

The accident report showed that high rate of speed played a factor in the accident, though it is not known how fast McLaughlin was driving.

Officials have no information from where the 2 men were coming from or travelling to that night. Twigg lives on Carmel Road almost a mile east of the accident spot, according to property records.

According to Haas, the Cumberland County Prosecutor’s Office is reviewing whether Twigg will face criminal charges connected with enabling an impaired driver to operate his vehicle.

Her office is reviewing the issue and declined to comment when asked if a criminal investigation was being conducted, Cumberland County Prosecutor Jennifer Webb-McRae said.

The report showed that McLaughlin sustained serious injuries in which a fracture or dislocation in his back was also included. He was taken to Inspira Medical Center Vineland for treatment. Haas said the officer is recovering at home. Twigg complained of pain, but had no noticeable serious injuries. He has since returned to work.

The report shows that McLaughlin was travelling east when he lost control after rounding a curve and grade change in the road. The Corvette spun into the westbound lane with its face on the north and eventually went onto the grass and a dirt driveway.

The motor vehicle was airborne for almost 20 feet after the passenger-side tires dug into the ground on an incline. McLaughlin and Twigg were ejected from the Corvette, which continued sideways until hitting the church.

According to the church members, when the motor vehicle crashed in the building, Vinyl siding, an outdoor electrical box, a security alarm box and a brick retaining wall on the church were damaged.

City police, fire and emergency responders reported to the accident spot. Sgt. Kevin McLaughlin handled the investigation of the incident.

On 6th of October, the officers are summoned to Millville Municipal Court but there are chances that Michael McLaughlin may not be able to attend because of his serious condition.

Mayor Mike Santiago, the city’s director of public safety, said he didn’t have any information about the DUI charges until Tuesday afternoon.

Santiago, chief warrant officer for the Cumberland County Sheriff’s Office said, “I did know about the crash and that it was being investigated. This is very unfortunate. But fortunately their injuries weren’t life-threatening”.

Catherine Romanik, a member of St. Nicholas who lives in the area, said she didn’t see the accident when it happened. But she said speeding has been a problem in the area in recent years. “Cars constantly speed down this section of the road and don’t slow down. It happens all day and night. Going 50 miles an hour isn’t even enough”.

The posted speed limit in the area of the church is 50 mph which the people should not exceed for safety reasons.

According to Romanik, the amount of damage done to the church due to the crash has not yet been known by investigators.

Michael McLaughlin has been with the police department for more than a year and a half, while Twigg has been a Millville officer and working for the department for almost 20 years.

News Source: www.TheDailyJournal.com

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