BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - A police officer continues to receive support from his community as he recovers from an on-the-job injury that nearly took his life.
The Fourth Sunday Riders, a group of philanthropic motorcyclists, contributed a donation of over $7,000 to Baton Rouge Police Officer Wallace Britton, a victim of a hit and run incident while on duty. The money was raised by the club members along with Twin Peaks and Cadillac Café.
Back in late July, Britton was struck by a van while outside of his vehicle. Soon after, WAFB received reports from BRPD that the accident happened in the 5600 block of Prescott Drive around 3:30 a.m., while Britton was at an apartment building investigating a vehicle burglary. According to reports, Britton was in the parking lot talking to Rita Canty, whose car had been broken into, when a Dodge Caravan went off the road and rolled into the parking lot, then slammed into the back of the parked police car. Both Britton and Canty were hospitalized with serious injuries, but expected to survive.
BRPD said the impact of the crash knocked the officer in the air and into another parked vehicle. Britton was reported to have flown about 50 feet from the crash. He suffered severe injuries, including two broken legs and ligament damage to his right knee. It also pinned the robbery victim between the police car and another car. Investigators reported the van drove on and hit two more vehicles before it stopped. The driver then got out of the van and ran away.
Police began a manhunt for the hit and run suspect, and later booked 37-year-old Robert Byrd into the East Baton Rouge Parish Prison. Byrd was charged with two counts of felony hit and run, four counts of misdemeanor hit and run, careless operation, driving left of center and several other charges.
Britton is scheduled to have knee surgery in two months. The funds raised by the community were an effort to aid Britton with his recovery.