Woman Hospitalized After Car Crash With Hawthorne Officer

Both cars sustained heavy front-end damage, and one car was ripped wide open

By Christina Cocca, Robert Henry and Toni Guinyard
|  Saturday, Jul 27, 2013  |  Updated 3:20 PM PDT
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A woman who was in a car crash with a Hawthorne police officer was in the hospital in critical condition. Toni Guinyard reports for the NBC4 News at noon on Wednesday July 24, 2013.

A woman who was in a car crash with a Hawthorne police officer was in the hospital in critical condition. Toni Guinyard reports for the NBC4 News at noon on Wednesday July 24, 2013.

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Two people, including one officer, were injured Wednesday morning after a Hawthorne police patrol car collided with a Honda and ejected a woman from her car, police said.

A Hawtorne Police Department sergeant was driving his cruiser in the 3700 block of West El Segundo Boulevard in Hawthorne when he collided with the 34-year-old woman's Honda Accord, throwing her from the car just before 2 a.m.

The officer was responding to an incident, but investigators with the California Highway Patrol said it was not immediately clear whether the patrol vehicle's lights and sirens were activated.

Video from the scene showed responders giving the Hawthorne woman CPR before loading her into an ambulance on a stretcher. Before she was taken to an area hospital, she appeared to be in cardiac arrest at the scene, a witness told NBC4.

The woman was hospitalized at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center in critical condition, according to the CHP.

The woman’s car was mangled, and its front end ripped apart from the rest of the vehicle.

The officer had a brace around his neck as responders put him on a gurney and into an ambulance. The CHP said he was treated for minor injuries and released from the hospital.

A preliminary report by the CHP indicated the woman was pulling out of an alleyway near an apartment complex when she collided with the cruiser.

According to the woman's friend, she is a mother of three children and was on her way to pick up her husband from work.

All lanes of El Segundo Boulevard between Doty and Kornblum avenues were closed during the investigation, but reopened about 9:30 a.m.

Just moments prior, a car hit a pedestrian at the intersection of 135th Street and Crenshaw Boulevard, about one mile away. The pedestrian refused aid and went to the hospital on his or her own, according to the California Highway Patrol.

Sgt. Denise Joslin, of the CHP, could not confirm whether the officer was responding to that crash at the time.

Additional details were not immediately available.

The department has seen two among its ranks die in traffic-related incidents, one as recently as this month. On July 8, Sgt. Leonard Luna, a 10-year veteran of the Hawthorne Police Department, crashed while he was on his way to pick up his service motorcycle from a repair shop in Long Beach.

In May 2011, Officer Andrew Garton, a motorcycle officer, died while working the funeral procession for an officer from Manhattan Beach. Garton, 44, was the first officer to die while on duty in the department's then-89 years.

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