Two Los Angeles Police Department officers searching for a weapon on a freeway in Fullerton after a pursuit were injured Tuesday morning when they were struck from behind by a woman suspected of DUI.
The officers were injured around 2 a.m. as they were in their patrol car searching the 57 Freeway for a weapon that was believed to have been thrown out of a car during a pursuit earlier Tuesday morning. The driver wanted in the chase, which began after a report of a stolen vehicle, was arrested.
As the officers were searching the freeway after the chase, a woman driving an Infiniti sedan slammed into the rear of their patrol car, injuring the officers, police said. That driver was arrested on suspicion of DUI, the CHP said.
The officers were taken to UCI Medical Center in Orange. LAPD Chief Michel Moore said they are expected to recover.
“These officers were essentially scanning the roadway… with all their lighting equipment on,” Moore said. “This was a substantial speed with which they were struck from behind.”
The California Highway Patrol issued a SigAlert for the northbound 57 Freeway and Yorba Linda Boulevard and closed all lanes of the freeway in both directions as they investigated the crash.
The cross-county pursuit that led to the freeway search started in the South LA area, continued to Orange County, then circled back to LA County. The chase started around midnight Tuesday when officers from the LAPD Newton division located a stolen vehicle at Washington Avenue and Maple Avenue in Historic South Central.
When the driver refused to stop, officers began to follow the car, according to the LAPD. Video from the scene showed LAPD patrol cars were moving at a high speed to catch up to a white vehicle.
The chase continued on streets and several freeways, including the 57 Freeway before the driver turned back around to LA County and barricaded himself inside a motel in the 11000 block of Atlantic Boulevard in Lynwood. The driver was taken into custody with incident.
The LAPD said the driver was in possession of narcotics and firearms at the time of the arrest. According to Moore, the driver was wanted on a felony warrant.
Source: NBC Los Angeles