A Los Angeles police officer was seriously injured when a man allegedly driving while impaired crashed into his patrol SUV on the shoulder of the San Diego (405) Freeway while he was outside the vehicle conducting a traffic stop on another motorist, authorities said Tuesday.
The crash occurred at 11:47 p.m. Monday on the northbound freeway near Santa Monica Boulevard, California Highway Patrol Officer Tony Polizzi said.
The officer had just pulled over the driver of a Honda Accord for alleged speeding, and he was outside his 2014 Ford Explorer SUV, which was parked behind the Honda, when a 2003 Infiniti Q35 crashed into the SUV, which then struck the officer, the CHP reported.
The officer, whose name was not released, suffered a “major” injury, the CHP reported. According to reports from the scene, the officer suffered a serious leg injury. He was hospitalized in unknown condition. An LAPD spokesman declined to provide a condition report, citing privacy concerns.
“It was a close call,” CHP Officer Vance Perreira told reporters at the scene. “Any time you operate on the right shoulder of the freeway, it’s never safe.”
Perreira said CHP officers were driving in the area a short time after the crash occurred.
“They said it could have been about … a minute after it happened,” Perreira told ABC7. “They passed by, were first on scene, rendered aid, possibly saved his life.”
CHP officers arrested the driver of the Infiniti, 34-year-old Douglas Donovan of Woodland Hills, and booked him on suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs, the CHP reported. He was not injured.
The driver of the Honda also was not injured.
All northbound lanes were closed until about 6 a.m., when two lanes were re-opened, the CHP reported. By about 7:30 a.m., all but one northbound lane had been re-opened. The remaining lane was re-opened a couple of hours afterward.
Anyone with information on the case was urged to call the West Los Angeles Area CHP office at (310) 642-3939.