patrol car

Police Officer Suffers Major Injuries After Struck by Driver Arrested on Suspicion of DUI

An Orange Police Department officer suffered major injuries early Saturday when he was struck by a motorist, who was later arrested on suspicion of drunk driving.

The driver, 27-year-old Ashley Bertolino of Tustin, suffered minor lacerations and was taken to UCI Medical Center, according to the California Highway Patrol, the agency investigating the traffic crash.

The officer, a 32-year-old man, was parked along the right curb of North Cambridge Street, just north of Walnut Avenue. He went to retrieve an item out of the rear of his patrol car when Bertolino, due to her level of intoxication, the CHP reported, veered to the right in a 2016 Hyundai a little after 3 a.m. and rear-ended the patrol car.

The impact of the crash caused the patrol car to be pushed into three parked vehicles, the CHP reported. Paramedics rushed the officer to Orange County Global Medical Center in Santa Ana, where he was being treated for major trauma to his legs and pelvic area.

The officer was out of surgery, and was in serious but stable condition later Saturday morning, said Fred Lopez of the Orange Police Department.

As of Sunday, the officer was in stable condition in the ICU, the Orange Police Department tweeted. 

"He shows improvement, but long recovery," the tweet added. 

The CHP's Santa Ana office asked anyone with information regarding the crash to call them at 714-567-6000.

A GoFundMe has been created for the officer, only identified on the page as "Officer S." The page describes the officer as a husband and father to two children, and former Marine.

Copyright CNS - City News Service
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