ASHEVILLE, BUMCOMBE COUNTY - A North Carolina Highway Patrol investigation finds that an Asheville police officer killed last month when his cruiser plunged off a bridge was speeding and wasn't wearing his seatbelt.
The investigation found that Officer Robert Bingaman was driving at about 70 mph in a 50 mph zone when he swerved to avoid traffic. The 37-year-old officer's cruiser hit a guardrail and went over the side of the bridge near the French Broad River.
Witnesses said the patrol car's blue lights were not flashing when the wreck happened around midday on Oct. 29.
Bingaman was a six-year veteran of the police force and the first Asheville officer killed in the line of duty in 41 years.