Distracted driving may have caused Peculiar officer to hit bicyclist, troopers say

The collision happened about 6:20 p.m. at 211th Street and Missouri Highway J. (Joe Fasanello)

Troopers say distracted driving was a possible cause for a Raymore bicyclist being struck by a Peculiar police officer Thursday evening.

The collision happened about 6:20 p.m. at 211th Street and Missouri Highway J.

Cyclist Joe Fasanello was waiting at a stop sign when Officer Charles Wallace took a sharp turn in his department-issued SUV and hit him head-on. His GoPro camera on his helmet caught the whole wreck.

He flew to the ground and was in serious pain, but later stood up.

"I was struck head-on by a local police officer using his cell phone. He received a text from a fellow officer and decided to read that while making a turn onto my road. I was stopped ... there is no excuse to use your phone at the wheel," Fasanello said.

In the video, the officer admitted he was looking at his phone.

Fasanello was scraped up and sore but not seriously hurt. He refused treatment at the scene. He has some bumps and bruises and was out of work on Friday.

As for his bicycle, the front wheel is knocked out of alignment and it appears the frame is cracked.

“The Missouri State Highway Patrol is investigating the incident. Until the investigation is complete, the officer is suspended with pay, which is standard," Police Chief Harry Gurin said.

Gurin said that the department is doing their due diligence to make sure they’re doing everything the right way, and they’re not trying to hide anything.

Fasnallo said he’s an avid cyclist and rides about 20 to 30 miles a day equipped with a GoPro camera.

When the officer came toward him at the stop sign, he had no time to move.

Fasanello did not want to show his face on camera but had some choice words for the officer who hit him.

“How much of an irresponsible moron he was,” Fasanello said. “Everybody knows you should not text and drive.”

“Everybody knows it’s dangerous,” he said. “It’s like breathing air. It’s second nature. You know if you distract yourself while you’re operating a 4,000-pound metal cage, something bad is going to happen.”

Fasnallo said he wants a formal apology.

>>WARNING This video contains explicit language<<

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