Brooksville, Florida -- Officer Meredith Blackman is listed in good condition at Regional Medical Center Bayonet Point after being airlifted early Tuesday morning from an accident that had Brooksville Police Chief George Turner extremely concerned.
A six-car pileup on Broad Street and Main sent four people to the hospital including Brooksville Police Officer Meredith Blackman who was the most seriously injured.
"From the city manager's report, was she was unresponsive," said Chief George Turner.
"She was down on the front seat and there were some people trying to get her to wake up," said witness Ken Paul.
Blackman has been with Brooksville Police Department for one year.
She was sitting at a red light on south Broad Street when 24-year-old Catlin Nichols rear-ended Blackman's 2010 Ford Crown Victoria, triggering a chain reaction pileup.
"The air bag on the steering wheel should have deployed, I don't know why it didn't. The whole back of the car was pushed into the truck area into the back seat and she was pushed into the car in front of her. It was a hard hit, it was a forty mile-an-hour hit," said Chief Turner.
Chief Turner says he will be calling Ford to have them inspect the car to make sure all sensors and air bag equipment was functioning properly.
The driver of the 1994 Ford pickup that hit Blackman, Catlin Nichols, was cited for careless driving, he says he fell asleep after working an overnight shift. Chief Turner says Blackman was lucky.
"She's a very fine officer, just starting out in her career, was recently married. She's very competent and hopefully she'll recover quickly," says Turner.
The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration, Office of Defects Investigation looks into automotive complaints that deal with your vehicle, tires, equipment or car seats. You can check out your make and model of vehicle or lodge a complaint at: www.Safercar.gov and http://www-odi.nhtsa.dot.gov/owners/SearchSafetyIssues.