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Detroit Water and Sewerage Department worker taken off the road after hitting and seriously injuring biker

Posted: 5:52 PM, Sep 20, 2019
Updated: 2019-09-20 18:35:39-04
Boil Water Advisory issued for section of Detroit

DETROIT (WXYZ) — Right now the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department says a worker is off the road as police investigate what happened before he crashed into a woman on a bike.

Multiple people who witnessed it say what they saw made them fear a cover-up. Then, as they took pictures, police arrested one of them.

Police say it happened around 8:00 p.m. on Wednesday. A driver in a Detroit Water and Sewerage Truck stopped at the stop sign on northbound McKinstry at West Vernon, then continued straight. The problem, McKinstry turns into a one-way road there. The driver suddenly was going the wrong way.

At the same time a woman was crossing McKinstry at West Vernon on her bicycle. The driver hit her.

He stopped at the scene.

“She was under the truck, I am sorry,” said Angel DeJesus who saw the crash. “It was hard to see.”

She says she went to see if the woman hit was okay. Her injuries were serious. She spoke to the driver who kept saying he didn’t see her.

“The smell, It wasn’t coffee. It wasn’t water. It was alcohol,” said DeJesus.

She says she believed the driver had been drinking.

First responders took the 47-year-old victim to the hospital in serious condition.

Other witnesses say they too wondered if alcohol was a factor.

“He was chugging water after all this happened,” said Ashley Attar, who works near the scene. “I don’t want to speculate.”

Attar says she saw the driver walking freely around the scene for at least an hour. She says she went to police and voiced her suspicions that he was intoxicated. Police did not respond to her, she says.

Attar and two friends decided to go record video of the scene, as they say they feared a cover-up.

As they took pictures and video police detained Roger Paz, who lives near the scene.

Police had asked him to step back from the scene. He says he did, but continued to take pictures. He says there was no crime scene tape up to indicate where the crime scene actually was.

His friends were recording as he stood handcuffed with police.

“You are going to find out now you are going to get a nice ticket. If you owe so much as $10 - $15 for a ticket you are going to go to jail,” police can be heard telling him.

“Well this is my neighborhood and I was just worried about a fellow…” he says.

“This is my neighborhood too,” an officer screams cutting him off.

“The driver wasn’t breathalyzed, so that raised concerns in the community,” said Attar to police as she recorded.

After his friends spoke out police let him go. Still he got a ticket because police say he didn’t follow an order to stay out of the police scene.

Police tell 7 action news they did not see signs the driver was drunk so they did not test him. However after the investigation was over he took a blood alcohol test as is required of city workers and tested negative for alcohol.

"The Detroit Water and Sewerage Department is hopeful the pedestrian will make a full recovery. We are investigating the accident and cannot comment further at this time. While under this investigation the DWSD employee is not allowed to drive any department vehicles," said the DWSD in a statement.

Police tell me the investigation is still on-going and so far no warrant request has been turned in to the prosecutors office.