Police Sgt. Timothy Simpson was responding to a robbery, driving on Aramingo Ave., when a black Camaro speeding up Allegany Ave plowed his cruiser. The Camaro ran a red light, witnesses said. The driver of the black Camaro appeared to be high on heroine, police sources say.
Sgt. Simpson, 46, of the 24th District was pulled from the wreckage around 10:45 p.m. Monday. He was transported to Temple University Hospital in critical condition where he later died, according to Philadelphia Police.
Simpson was a 20-year veteran of the Philadelphia Police Department.
Simpson's family members could be seen rushing into the hospital amid a sea of blue from police escort vehicles soon after he arrived. He is survived by a wife and three children.
"This is a tragic night and early morning for the City of Philadelphia," Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter said at a press conference outside Temple University Hospital Tuesday morning.
The force of the accident was so great that Officer Simpson's car was pushed off the street and into the side of a building.
There were two passengers in the other vehicle. Medics were able to remove one passenger from the car soon after the accident happened. They extracted the second passenger from the car, which was wrapped around a traffic pole, around 11:20 p.m.
The driver was taken to Hahnemann Hospital and treated for minor injuries. He was later brought to the Police Administration Building.
The passenger was taken to Northeast Hospital. There is no word on their condition.
Drugs were found on the driver of the vehicle, Philadelphia Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey said.
Police have taken a blood test from the driver and are expected to charge him with driving under the influence soon, according to investigators.
Earlier Monday, Simpson was recognized with a Supervisor of the Month award.
He took over the squad of Police Sgt. Stephen Liczbinski who was shot and killed after responding to a bank robbery in Port Richmond on May 3, 2008.
Simpson was the officer who handcuffed Liczbinksi's alleged killer.
Sgt. Simpson is the fifth officer in the past 13 months to be killed in the line of duty.
Officer Chuck Cassidy was shot after walking in on a robbery in progress at a Dunkin' Doughnuts in North Philly on October 31, 2007. He died the next day.
Police Sgt. Stephen Liczbinski was shot and killed responding to a bank robbery in Port Richmond on May 3, 2008.
Officer Isabel Nazario died after her cruiser was hit by a stolen SUV on September 5, 2008.
Officer Patrick McDonald was shot and killed during a routine traffic stop in North Philadelphia on September 23, 2008.
A vigil will be held to honor the fallen officer at the scene of the accident, Tuesday at 4pm.
Funeral services will be held Monday, November 24 at 11:30am at the Cathedral Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul on the Ben Franklin Parkway.
A trust fund has been established for Sergeant Simpson's family.
Checks can be made out to the Timmy Simpson Family Memorial Trust Fund.
It can be mailed to:
Police and Fire Federal Credit Union
901 Arch St.
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 19107