Charleston police say elderly woman injured in collision with officer's vehicle dies

Charleston police said an elderly woman who was injured after her vehicle was involved in a collision with a city police cruiser en route to a burglary has died.

Charleston Police Chief Brent Webster said he received a call from the medical examiner Monday morning informing him that the woman died. Officer Stephen Doss has been on paid administrative leave since Friday. He has been on the force for two years.

Meanwhile, the Kanawha County Prosecutor’s Office has asked to review the case. Charleston police hope they can finish their investigation in seven to ten days and then hand it over to the prosecutor's office.

Doss was responding at about 10 a.m. Wednesday after a pregnant woman frantically called 911 to report that she was assaulted by a man with a knife who had come into her apartment at Orchard Manor on the city's West Side. He was on Bigley Avenue when he got word and rushed down Washington Street West before crashing into the vehicle driven by the elderly woman, said to be in her late 70s, who was pulling off on Maryland Avenue.

Webster said the police cruiser's "black box" that records data will play an important role in the continuing investigation. The chief previously said that the officer was driving above the speed limit and did not have his siren and lights activated.

"I think we do it right, but mistakes get made and now that's what this investigation is all about. How we can look at this, how we can evaluate it, how we can assure the public that we're doing all we can? I think our record has been really good, but there's no words for that right now that's going to make anybody feel any better about it. It's just that we are working hard and a lot of lives have been changed here," Webster said.

Webster became emotional talking about the ordeal. "Well, I care. I care about the community and I care about the officers," he said while holding back tears.

"He was trying to get there. He was well intentioned, he was trying to get through the west side to the housing development to be able to help," the chief said.

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