A California Highway Patrol officer was hospitalized for a serious leg injury Sunday morning when a motorist collided with his patrol car on U.S. Highway 101 outside Santa Rosa, the CHP reported.
At about 8 a.m., the officer was inside his patrol car after stopping a motorist on U.S. 101 at Todd Road in unincorporated Sonoma County when another driver crashed into him, the CHP said.
The officer sustained a serious injury to his leg and was transported to Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital for treatment, the CHP reported.
The motorist, who the CHP officer pulled over, scrambled to help save the officer.
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The motorist Eric, who only wants to use his first name, said he and the driver of the car that crashed pulled the CHP officer to safety.
“I hear a big, loud crash. I get slammed. I blacked out," Eric said. "I wake up, and I see the car in the middle of the freeway, car over here. He couldn’t get out. I saw the gas. I thought I need to get him out as fast as I can.”
Eric also said the driver who crashed told him he had fallen asleep at the wheel.
The CHP Sunday afternoon issued a Sig-Alert on U.S. 101 at Todd as the second and third lanes of the highway will be blocked until 4 p.m. due to the accident.
The CHP said the officer injured, Steven Rutledge, is doing well, and doctors are optimistic about his recovery.
Rutledge is a veteran of the Marines, a 10-year-veteran of the Dallas Police Department, and has been with the CHP for 2 years out of the Los Angeles area. He had just transferred to the North Bay and is still in the process of moving.
It is not clear if the driver, who caused the crash, will face charges.