CHP Officer, Ambulance Hit on Calif. Freeway

CHP Officer, Ambulance Hit on Calif. Freeway

News Dec 25, 2012

Four people, including a California Highway Patrol officer, were injured in a crash that shut down westbound Highway 60 in Moreno Valley.

A woman was driving a black Chevrolet Malibu west on the highway around 7:20 a.m. Monday, Dec. 24, when she lost control, spun out and rolled down a shoulder onto the Perris Boulevard exit, according to CHP Sgt. Andrew Thompson.

The victim was trapped inside her car, and a CHP officer, fire engine and ambulance rushed to the scene, closed the exit and began working to free her.

Around 7:50 a.m., another woman driving a black Toyota Camry lost control in the same area and careened into the parked emergency vehicles. The westbound lanes of the freeway were closed about the same time.

"She loses control for unknown reasons, takes out an exit sign…overturns an ambulance and hits an officer," Thompson said.

The CHP officer was standing with a male family member of the woman trapped in the Malibu when the car struck the two men and sent them flying 20 feet onto the shoulder. The officer sustained moderate injuries, and the family member sustained major injuries. Both were rushed to a hospital, the sergeant said.

The drivers of the Malibu and the Camry sustained moderate injuries, according to CHP spokesman Steve Carapia.

The CHP closed the westbound side of the freeway at Nason Street as they investigated the crash, and at 12:36 p.m. the carpool lane was opened, according to a CHP incident log.

The cause of both crashes was unknown as of 11 a.m. "The roadways were wet, but as for whether that contributed to the crash, it's under investigation," Thompson said.

Due to the slight downward slope of the highway at that location, crashes at that spot are common, he said. "They have crashes to clean up all the time," the sergeant said.

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The crash drew the attention of J.R. Morgan, a 50-year-old Moreno Valley resident who was nearby. "I was at 7/11 drinking beer and a cup of coffee, I heard the accident, I came running and I seen an ambulance, three cars and a gurney. I assumed there was a fatality," he said.

- Staff writer Craig Shultz contributed to this report.

Copyright 2012 The Press Enterprise, Inc.All Rights Reserved

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PETER SUROWSKI STAFF WRITER PSUROWSKI@PE.COM
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