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Woman plans to sue BPD after accident

Posted at 7:34 PM, Feb 23, 2016
and last updated 2016-02-23 22:51:59-05

Last week a Bakersfield police officer was involved in a traffic accident at 24th and "F" streets.

23ABC has now learned the officer behind the wheel was at fault and now the victim is taking legal action.

On February 16th Judy Newton was on her way back home

Newton was heading west bound on 24th street in downtown Bakersfield and at that same moment a Bakersfield police patrol car was heading north on F street.

According to a witness at the scene the officer entered the intersection on a red light.

Newton says she saw smoke and climbed out of the car, with one thing on her mind.

"I'm just not ready to go yet, I'm just glad to be alive," said Newton. 

The officer driving the car was Ryan Maxwell; he's been with the department since 2011

Both Newton and Maxwell were taken to the hospital for their injuries.

Newton suffers from fibromyalgia and now she's afraid the accident may have triggered post-traumatic symptoms.

Daniel Rodriguez, Newton’s lawyer says police officers can only break the laws of the road in certain circumstances like when they're responding to an emergency.

Rodriguez says there was no emergency at the time.

"Second of all that they must always have their overhead lights on if they're going to be breaking the rules of the road, if they're going to run through a red light, said Daniel Rodriguez.

Witnesses say Officer Maxwell did not have his emergency lights or siren on, which would have also excused him from the rules of the road.

While the Bakersfield Police Department has admitted fault, they say any disciplinary action taken against the officer will not be released to the public

Newton’s lawyer plans to take steps toward a lawsuit against the Bakersfield Police Department next week.