Two Montclair police officers collided at the intersection of North Fullerton Avenue and Walnut Street while driving department vehicles July 6. (COURTESY CHARLIE SPADEMAN)


The drivers of two Montclair police vehicles that crashed into each other earlier this summer both said they’re not quite sure what happened to cause the crash.

Officers Scott McGrath and Corey Graves collided at the intersection of North Fullerton Avenue and Walnut Street on July 6, according to a Montclair Police Department crash report provided to Montclair Local following a public records request. Chief Todd Conforti said Monday the matter remains under investigation, declining further comment. 

Both drivers were responding to an emergency call regarding a pedestrian struck by a motor vehicle, the report said. 

McGrath, traveling north on North Fullerton Avenue, said he had his emergency lights activated and sounded his sirens before entering the intersection, according to the report. In-car dash camera footage showed McGrath used his lights but did not sound the siren, the report said.

Both officers were driving Montclair Police Department vehicles, black Ford Explorers.

Graves was traveling west on Walnut Street with his emergency lights activated and siren sounding while approaching the intersection. Both the use of the light and siren were confirmed by the dash camera footage, according to the report.

Graves and McGrath were both “unsure on the specifics” of how the collision occurred, the report said. But both recalled hearing the other officer’s sirens prior to the collision, it said. The report, which only addresses the basic details of the collision, doesn’t address why both officers thought McGrath’s sirens were on even though the recording didn’t reflect it. 

Images of the vehicle provided to Montclair Local by resident Charlie Spademan at the time of the crash show at least one of the vehicles severely damaged, with its front mangled, and damage to its rear-passenger side. Both vehicles’ airbags had been deployed, Spademan said at the time.

Talia (she/her) is the education reporter for Montclair Local and is always looking for ways to view stories through a solutions journalism lens. She has spent time in newsrooms of all sizes and scopes....