The divergent accounts of LPD and his family of the collision which injured a teenager

LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) – A 15-year-old boy was taken to hospital after colliding with a Lincoln police cruiser on Sunday. However, the teenager’s family disagrees with LPD’s version of the event.

The cyclist, Caden Wenzl, was riding his bike near 48th and Adams with his younger sister around 5:45 p.m. Caden said he started crossing the street when he saw the walk signal, and as he was crossing the street, he was hit a police car.

“I just started driving off and then he hit me with the front of his car,” Caden said. “I remember he said he was sorry, I don’t remember everything.”

According to Lincoln Police, a marked LPD cruiser was stopped facing east on Adams Street at 48th Street while waiting to turn south. The cruiser moved forward slightly when the officer observed a break in traffic and was about to turn right.

LPD said as the cruiser was moving forward, it was struck on the passenger-side door area by the teen who was riding his bike north on the sidewalk. Police say the 15-year-old said a family member with him pressed the button for the crosswalk and he started crossing once the signal changed. Police say a witness said the collision happened just as the signals were changing and said the signal for the crosswalk changed around the exact time the cruiser turned and was hit by the bike.

However, Caden’s mother, Jennifer Hood, said that story doesn’t add up.

“The officer at the scene tells me that, you know, Caden had the right of way,” Hood said. “Witnesses said he had the light to walk. It was the officer’s fault…and then all of a sudden it’s a ‘no fault’ accident and Caden hit the side of the cruiser.

Caden said his bike’s rear wheel was bent as a result of the crash, not the front.

“There have been a lot of conflicting stories and the injuries don’t match what the reports say,” his mother said. “We were told it just hit the side of the cruiser. The front tire of the bike is perfectly fine, the rear tire, it won’t even slip at all. And I don’t understand if it just hit the side of the cruiser, how the rear part of its tire is bent and cannot even turn.

After the crash, Caden was rushed to Bryan Health for left leg injuries, which his mother says include a broken lower femur and torn MCL.

“He wanted to play basketball in the winter and I don’t know if we’re going to be able to do that now. There are accidents that happen, but just someone stepping in and saying, ‘Hey, yeah, that was a mistake. I did it. Let’s try to understand.’ That’s all we want.

As to what the officer said at the scene, we contacted LPD and they said they had no information regarding the comments made by the officer.