Semi, squad car collide in town

COLUMBIA CITY — A Columbia City police officer was involved in a collision this morning with a semi-tractor trailer, according to Indiana State Police.ISP Trooper Brian Bills said the collision occurred at the intersection of state Route 9 and Chicago Street and apparently was the result of confusion over traffic signals.The police car, driven by Master Patrolman Robert V. “Chip” Stephenson received about $5,000 damage, according to Bills, when it was hit by a semi driven by Jim Pettigrew of Columbia City.Bills said the semi took off parts of the patrol car’s front end.There were no injuries in the accident.Bills said Pettigrew was westbound on Chicago Street and stopped at the red light at state Route 9.The patrol car driven by Stephenson was northbound on 9 and also stopped at the light.The traffic light at the intersection was blinking red in all directions for a train that had just went through, said Bills.After the train passed, the light for Stephenson turned green and Pettigrew’s light turned solid red.A vehicle in front of Stephenson went through the green light and the police officer was following that vehicle.Bills said Stephenson noticed the semi driven by Pettigrew was attempting to turn left and go south on 9, so the officer stopped in an attempt to avoid a collision.Pettigrew continued even after Stephenson blew his horn, according to the police report.Bills said Stephenson could not back up because of traffic behind him.Bills said no citations were issued.