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Investigation continues after pedestrian accident involving Charles City fire chief

Rick Lynch
Floyd County Sheriff Rick Lynch

CHARLES CITY – Floyd County Sheriff Rick Lynch today confirmed that an investigation is still on-going after a woman was injured by a vehicle driven by a Charles City fire chief.

Sheriff Lynch said Wednesday afternoon that the investigation into the March 17 incident is “not complete yet. Investigator Pat Shirley is working the accident and consulting with the County Attorney.”

Sheriff Lynch said that the investigation may be complete by the end of next week.

The investigation revolves around a car-pedestrian incident in Charles City on March 17 at about 1:14 PM at the corner of North Main Street and Clark Street. A 2010 Dodge Charger driven by 36-year-old Charles City Fire Chief Eric Whipple was southbound on North Main Street and turned left onto Clark Street when he struck 86-year-old Gladys Kellogg of Charles City who was walking northbound. She was injured and transported to a Charles City hospital before she was later taken to St. Mary’s Hospital in Rochester, Minnesota. ¬†Her condition at this time is not known, but her injuries are not thought to be life-threatening.

Charles City
Charles City

The accident and ensuing investigation has led to a controversy over how the matter should be investigated. ¬†Charles City officials asked the Floyd County Sheriff’s Office to take over the investigation to avoid the appearance of impropriety.

Some question whether anyone local should investigate, but many agree that Charles City police did the right thing by removing themselves from the investigation.

In response to some criticism in the community, Sheriff Rick Lynch said Monday night that his agency is professional and full-capable of completing a fair investigation.

“Well first off I’m a professional friend with Eric and respect what he does and who he is, but we have never been out socially off duty,” he explained. “Now just to inform you when a Trooper Is involved in an accident the Troopers investigate it. At a local level you have people who just want to judge without knowledge or experience in the job like the professionals have. Yes the CCPD could of handled this, but thought, I’m assuming, it would be a better idea that FCSO comes in and assist.”

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