WATCH: Red Light Camera Captures Crash


By Richard Pratt

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa – Police on Thursday released video of a rollover crash captured by one of the newly installed red light cameras.

No one was injured in the crash, which happened at 9:40 a.m. Wednesday at the corner of 42nd Street and Edgewood Road NE. The video shows a southbound pickup broadside a sport-utility vehicle, sending the SUV onto its side.

Four witnesses told police the driver of the SUV, 16-year-old Alexandra Scharmer, of Cedar Rapids, ran the red light, and the video confirms it.

Scharmer told The Gazette the manual transmission vehicle stalled. The footage shows it sitting at a green light for about 15 seconds before proceeding into the intersection.

“I got it going and I guess (the stoplight) wasn’t green anymore,” Scharmer said.

Scharmer was ticketed for disobeying a traffic signal.

The driver of the pickup, Ron Delaney, 65, of Cedar Rapids, said a turning vehicle partially blocked his view to see the SUV coming. When he did see it, it was too late.

Sgt. Cristy Hamblin said the cameras are useful for more than just ticketing speeders and red-light runners. They can be used to confirm witness statements, as in the case of Wednesday’s rollover. Also, they have the capability to scan for a specific license plate.

Hamblin said they may use every camera to scan for a suspect’s license plate if there is a serious crime, such as a murder or an abduction. If they do, the cameras would not be photographing traffic violations at the same time.

Seven intersections are currently monitored by the traffic cameras in Cedar Rapids. Another set of cameras will start watching an eighth corner, Williams Boulevard and 16th Avenue SW, later this summer.

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