Officials in Asheville say an officer is dead after the cruiser he was in crashed from a bridge Tuesday afternoon.
It happened on the Jeff Bowen Bridge on Interstate 240 over the French Broad River in Asheville. The cruiser, driven by Officer Robert Bingaman, was traveling eastbound and landed on the ground below, according to authorities.
Alex England watched the accident unfold. He was crossing under the bridge on his way to work.
“He was moving and I told him ‘sir, don't move, take slow deep breaths, help is on the way,’” said England.
After the vehicle was stabilized, Bingaman was removed and rushed to the hospital. At that time, he was pronounced dead.
Bingaman had been with the department for six years in the traffic safety unit.
The North Carolina Highway Patrol is investigating. Officials say it could be a week before the agency’s reconstruction team is done.
911 calls were made by 25 to 30 witnesses. Buncombe County Emergency Services released the calls to media Wednesday.
A spokesperson for the City of Asheville says the review for investigative detail from the calls is near completion.
It remains unclear if Bingaman was in pursuit of someone or responding to a call when the accident happened.
Following the Highway Patrol’s investigation, the North Carolina Department of Transportation will conduct their own review.
NCDOT investigates all deadly accidents to see if any damage was done to the roadway or structure. Engineers also look at contributing factors to determine if additional safety measures are needed.
Officials say Morris Funeral Home in Asheville is handling the funeral arrangements for Bingaman.
7 On Your Side will let you know as soon as more details are released.
A Facebook page was set up for the officer and pictures honoring his service made the rounds on social media.
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