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Kentucky Officer Involved in Fatal Wreck

Aug. 07--Lexington police are investigating a fatal wreck that involved a police cruiser on Harrodsburg Road at Bob-o-Link Drive early Sunday.

Police said officer Anthony J. Guidugli was heading north in the left lane of Harrodsburg about 5 a.m. Sunday when a 1999 Toyota Corolla entered the intersection, traveling west.

Guidugli swerved left, but his patrol care struck the Corolla in the driver-side door.

The driver of the Corolla was Travis Sutherland, 21, of Versailles, who was pronounced dead at the University of Kentucky Medical Center, according to the Fayette County Coroner's office.

Sutherland was wearing a seat belt, police said. The cause of death was listed as blunt-force trauma to the chest and abdomen. An autopsy was performed Sunday in Frankfort.

Sutherland's funeral arrangements, which were not announced Sunday night, will be under the direction of Clark Funeral Home in Frankfort.

Guidugli was taken to Central Baptist hospital and treated for a minor ankle injury, police Lt. Fred Lisanby said.

According to Lexington police, Guidugli was traveling 40 to 45 mph at the time of the crash. He was not wearing a seat belt.

"While this is not a contributing factor in this collision, it is of concern to us and appropriate action will be taken upon completion of this investigation," Lexington police said in a news release.

Lt. Doug Pape said that neither speed or alcohol was a suspected factor in the crash. Toxicology results on both drivers are pending.

Police have not determined whether the Corolla ran the stop sign at Harrodsburg or came to a complete stop, but the car did not yield the right of way to the police car, Pape said.

The police collision reconstruction unit is investigating the wreck.

In September 2009, Guidugli received a Medal of Merit from the Lexington Division of Police, presented to employees "for courageous service of exceptional character."

This was the second wreck involving a Lexington police cruiser this year. Lexington police officer Justin Rowland patrol car collided with a car carrying a newlywed couple to their wedding reception in May after the officer ran a red light.

Joe and Amy Snider were injured in the May 21 crash at Nicholasville Road and Pasadena Drive. That investigation remains open, awaiting toxicology test results. A final report could be released as early as this week, Pape said.

Lexington police have not said how fast Rowland's cruiser was traveling. Police said at the time that he was "responding to a priority call." Rowland and a passenger suffered minor injuries.

The Sniders and a driver were in a convertible when Rowland's patrol car collided with their vehicle. Rowland was not using sirens or police lights.

Amy Snider was thrown from the car, and both she and Joe Snider suffered broken ribs. It's unclear whether they were wearing seat belts.

In May 2004, then-Lexington officer John C. Lamb II was speeding down Harrodsburg Road without his lights and sirens on. His cruiser broadsided a vehicle driven by Rachel L. Burns, 24, killing her.

Lamb pleaded guilty to two moving violations for speeding without emergency lights and sirens, and police began an internal investigation after the plea was entered.

But Lamb, suspended with pay during the investigation, retired on total and permanent occupational disability in February 2005, about a month after he pleaded guilty.

Reach Janet Patton at (859) 231-3264 or 1-800-950-6397, Ext. 3264.