Man says he was cited for accident he didn't cause

OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) – An Omaha man says police told him he was at fault for an accident last month.

On Aug. 16, Tevi Lawson said he was driving north on 72nd Street.

“I entered the left lane to turn left onto Blondo — to go westbound onto Blondo. When all of a sudden a truck came from behind and struck my vehicle,” Lawson said.

Video from a nearby business captured the crash.

“I’m glad I’m still standing. It was a heavy shock on my body,” he said.

Lawson said he had to find the video on his own — because while being treated at the hospital for whiplash, he learned Omaha police were told a different story.

“Two officers joined me and handed me an already written citation without even taking my statement,” he said.

He says officers told him they talked to a credible witness.

“A credible witness that was not even on the scene when the police arrived,” Lawson said.

According to the police report, the driver of the truck said the accident happened so fast he doesn’t remember what lane Lawson was in when their cars collided.

Officers also spoke with a woman after the accident by phone. She said she was right behind Lawson when he abruptly changed lanes to get in front of the truck.

“That’s when the truck going northbound on 72nd Street struck me from behind because he didn’t have enough reaction time to stop his vehicle,” Lawson said.

Lawson says the video shows otherwise.

He plans to fight the decision in court not because of the $25 citation he received or because his car is totaled but because he believes the reporting officers should have handled the case differently.

“What if something happened to the other driver or somebody did get hurt during that accident? I wouldn’t have had a chance to look for the video to prove myself not guilty because I would have been in jail somewhere. What about my family? What about my family? What about everybody? My entourage? What about my job?” Lawson said.

Lawson was cited for an improper lane change.

He can file a complaint if he feels officers did something wrong.

Omaha police say it’s not common for them to view videos in these cases if there is a witness.

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