A St. Petersburg police officer was among seven people taken to an area hospital after a three-vehicle crash early Monday.
The crash happened in the 3100 block of 34th Street N just before 12:30 a.m. Details have not been released, but authorities said the crash was not a result of a chase or any police activity.
The officer involved was Lieutenant Gregory Totz, 62, who has been a sworn officer for 39 years.
Officials said none of the injuries are life-threatening and some of the injured were treated and released at Bayfront Health St. Petersburg. Injuries ranged from bumps and bruises to one person having broken bones.
Totz has been admitted to the hospital for further evaluation and treatment.
Some involved in the chain-reaction crash said the officer may have been at fault.
Police shut down 34th Street N between 30th Avenue and 34th Avenue for several hours.
Carolann Niblack, who was a passenger in the third car involved in the crash, said it happened so fast there was no time to react.
"I’m bracing myself, and I’m scared because I wasn’t sure what was going to happen after that," Niblack said. "Bam! I just hit everything ... I (saw) papers fly everywhere from the police car."
Other people involved said the police lieutenant driving the cruiser was on patrol for prostitutes and that he pulled into traffic without looking.
"He just wasn’t paying attention," said Dezirae Dixon, who was drving the third car in the crash. "No, he said he was looking behind him for streetwalkers."
As the investigation into the crash continues, officials said video of the crash may shed more light on what happened.
Officials did not say if there is dash cam video from the police cruiser. However, one witness said there was someone at the scene shooting cell phone video.
Police are trying to track that person down.