California Highway Patrol officers placed themselves in harm's way early Thursday to prevent a potentially devastating crash.
The officers, concerned about the safety of other drivers, positioned their patrol SUV in the path of a wrong-way driver on the 10 Freeway west of downtown Los Angeles. The CHP received a report at about 2 a.m. of the wrong-way driver in a BMW heading east on the westbound freeway in Arlington Heights.
Officers conducted a traffic break using lights and sirens, but the driver did not stop.
“They attempted to stop the driver just by the presence,” said CHP Officer Richard Yebra. “The driver continued going eastbound and the officers had pretty much placed their patrol vehicle in the path of the wrong-way driver to prevent injuries to the public.”
The officers then placed their patrol vehicle in the BMW’s path on the freeway.
“Noticing the driver of the BMW was not reacting or slowing for the patrol vehicle’s emergency lights, and fearing for the safety of innocent civilian motorists behind them, the officers made the split-second decision to place their own lives in harm’s way danger by deliberately maneuvering the patrol vehicle directly into the path of the BMW,” the CHP said in a statement. “The officers braced for the violent impact, which successfully halted the wrong way vehicle’s momentum saving innocent lives from injury and potential death.”
Two officers in the SUV suffered minor injuries when the driver crashed into the patrol SUV.
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The BMW driver was hospitalized in critical condition.