Officer In Crash Is Identified

Cpl. Michael Makris, a 25-year member of the Wheeling Police Department, was driving a cruiser involved in a traffic accident Monday while en route to a report of shots fired.

The crash is under investigation by the West Virginia State Police. Reports indicate northbound traffic on Main Street was backed up as Makris tried to enter the southbound lane near Fifth Street with the cruiser lights and sirens activated. While switching lanes, he struck the rear of a Ford Taurus.

The collision sent the cruiser across the southbound lane; it struck a utility pole, spun clockwise and toppled a brick pillar at the top of a driveway. The cruiser was entirely on the sidewalk facing northeast by the time it came to a stop.

Makris and the female driver of the other vehicle to a local hospital with undisclosed injuries.

The reported gunshots turned out to be the sound of a car engine backfiring.