Special police officer falls asleep and crashes cruiser

MATTHEWS, NC (WBTV) - A special police officer drifted off the freeway early Wednesday morning after falling asleep, and crashed into a grove of trees.

Debris from the patrol car was found yards away from where the vehicle ended up, parked alongside the embankment of the off ramp after colliding with a tree.

Matthews Police said the special police officer was driving along the outer loop of I-485 around 3am, when he dozed off behind the wheel.

The car drifted off the road, and slammed into a tree at the East Independence interchange.

The back bumper of the car was ripped off, as well as damage along the driver's side.

The officer was checked out by Medics on the scene, but was not hurt according to Matthews officers.

There's no word on if any citations will be issued.

"Special" police officers are contracted law enforcement officials who work for companies.  They have police powers only on the property they are hired to patrol.

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