A Janesville Police Department squad car was involved in a traffic crash at 5:27 p.m. Tuesday at Milton Avenue and Humes Road, according to a Rock County Communications Center supervisor.
The supervisor said the crash involved injuries.
A witness told The Gazette the SUV-style squad car was westbound on Humes Road and had its emergency lights and sirens activated when it entered the intersection with Milton Avenue. It collided with a car southbound on Milton Avenue.
Scott Spaulding said he was northbound on Milton Avenue waiting for a red light at Humes Road when the squad car approached from his right. The squad had a red light, too, he said.
"It was coming cautiously into the intersection with its lights and siren on. It looked like the intersection was clear, and he started to accelerate, and then this car was going south on 26--so it had come past Kwik Trip--and just blew right into the intersection," Spaulding said.
The squad T-boned the car, both vehicles spun around, and a "ball of fire" came from the front of the squad car, Spaulding said.
Passersby ran to the car and helped remove a child from a car seat in the back of the car. Spaulding said he believes the officer got out of the squad car, but he didn't see the driver of the other car get out of the vehicle.
A second squad car arrived within 30 seconds, he said.
Spaulding said the officer had entered the intersection carefully.
"He didn't just go blowing through there. He stopped or nearly stopped at the stoplight, and then cautiously came across the first lane of traffic, and you could see him looking both ways. And then it looked like the intersection was totally clear, and then he started to accelerate. That's when the car blew into the intersection," Spaulding said.
Every other car around the intersection had stopped for the squad car, Spaulding said.
The crashed vehicles blocked the intersection, and traffic was backed up in multiple directions at 6 p.m., a Gazette reporter at the scene said.
This story will be updated.