A 33-year-old woman was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence after her vehicle struck a Los Angeles Police Department motorcycle officer from behind at a red light, leaving him pinned between two vehicles Saturday, officials said.
The officer was waiting for the traffic light at Saticoy Street and Lankershim Boulevard (map) about 5:30 p.m. when an SUV rear-ended him, according to the LAPD. The officer was pinned between the SUV and the vehicle in front of him.
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The officer was in a medically-induced coma in critical but stable condition at Providence Holy Cross Medical Center in Mission Hills on Sunday.
"We are holding out all hope for his recovery," said LAPD Cpt. Maureen Ryan, who used to be partners with the injured officer. "Underneath this badge is a heart and emotions and feelings. We have family, we are family."
The officer was in and out of surgeries to treat internal bleeding as well as head and spinal injuries, according to his colleague, Sgt. Kurt Smith.
LAPD Commander Andrew Smith said the officer is a 26-year veteran of the department. He is a lead DUI task force officer.
"The injured officer is in critical condition right now," Smith said. "Officers are in a nearby waiting room basically praying for his life."
Smith said the SUV pulled up at a high rate of speed. The female driver, Qaneak Cobb of North Hollywood, was arrested Saturday night and was suspected of being under the influence of drugs at the time of the crash. She was suspected of being on cocaine, police said.
Her bail was set at $185,000.
Alicia Garcia, a medical assistant, was nearby after the crash and ran out into the street to help the injured officer before paramedics arrived.
"By the time I ran out another nurse was out there too, and we were able to get a pulse from him," Garcia said. "He was unconscious, but we knew as long as we had a pulse he was going to be OK."
On Sunday afternoon, LAPD officers and members of the community donated blood at Saint Clare's church in Santa Clarita in honor of the officer.
"It was a little slow today and when they got wind of it, people just came out of the woodwork to give blood,” said Sandy Hibarger, an organizer for the blood drive. “It’s been amazing."
- Photos: Remembering Officer Nicholas Lee
The incident comes a month after the death of LAPD Training Officer Nicholas Choung Lee, who was killed when the patrol vehicle he was in collided with a dump truck in Beverly Hills.