National

Accused drunk driver hits officer — then his drunk girlfriend pulls up, Calif. cops say

Watch car slam into CHP cruiser in example of dangers of DUI

File video: The California Highway Patrol released this video of an impaired driver colliding with a CHP cruiser to illustrate how dangerous DUI driving is to everyone, especially officers who are frequently exposed to traffic.
Up Next
File video: The California Highway Patrol released this video of an impaired driver colliding with a CHP cruiser to illustrate how dangerous DUI driving is to everyone, especially officers who are frequently exposed to traffic.

An accused drunk driver who hit a California Highway Patrol officer on a San Diego freeway Tuesday night tried to flee with his damaged hood blocking his windshield, KNSD reported.

After other officers stopped him a mile away, a woman believed to be the driver’s girlfriend pulled up in her own vehicle, KSWB reported. She also failed a field sobriety test, officers said.

The incident began about 10:30 p.m. on Highway 94 in Lemon Grove, east of San Diego, KGTV reported.

A CHP officer had stopped to clear debris from the highway when he spotted a Nissan Altima swerve into the center divider behind him, according to the station. The officer “tried to wave down the driver,” who kept going toward him.

The Altima hit the officer as he dove out of the way, injuring his knee, and also struck his patrol car, KGTV reported. The crash caused the Nissan’s hood to fly up over the windshield, but the driver continued slowly down the highway.

The injured officer crawled to safety and called for assistance, KSWB reported. He was later hospitalized with “moderate injuries.”

It was not clear whether the driver intentionally hit the officer, said CHP spokesperson Travis Garrow, KNSD reported.

After other officers pulled over the Altima, a woman believed to be his girlfriend arrived in her own vehicle, according to the station. She also faces DUI charges, although officers say she was not involved in the original crash.

Alcohol-impaired driving fatalities increased in California in 2016, according to an Office of Traffic Safety report.

Related stories from Bradenton Herald

Don Sweeney has been a newspaper reporter and editor in California for more than 25 years. He has been a real-time reporter based at The Sacramento Bee since 2016.
  Comments