A van nearly struck a Penn Police officer close to the intersection of 40th and Sansom streets around 3:30 p.m. on Wednesday. The van's driver was allegedly under the influence of alcohol, eyewitnesses said.
"It's an open investigation," said a Penn Police Department official, who did not give his name. "Somebody will get locked up for driving under the influence."
Other bystanders said the driver, whose identity has not yet been officially released, nearly hit an officer and, in the process, damaged at least two other vehicles parked along Sansom Street before ramming into a telephone pole. Down the stretch of Sansom Street west of 40th, three different vehicles had scrape marks.
Penn's Division of Public Safety headquarters are located at 4040 Chestnut Street. Some police cruisers are generally stationed south of the office, on that block of Sansom Street where the crash occurred.
"This incident is still be investigated, so at this point we cannot confirm the cause of the accident," a spokesperson for DPS said in a statement. Penn Police blocked off Sansom Street to vehicular traffic with a police cruiser and other barriers.
Lauren Feiner, a College senior and former editor-in-chief of The Daily Pennsylvanian, heard the crash from her house on Sansom Street along with her roommates.
"We heard what sounded like a car coming down the street quickly, crashing into something, and then sounding like it backed up back into whatever it crashed into," she said. By the time she looked outside, a group of police officers had filed out of DPS headquarters and were running toward 41st Street.
This is a developing story that was last updated on Wednesday, Feb. 22 at 6:20 p.m. Check back for updates.