Two police officers were injured Sunday in unrelated crashes within 30 minutes of each other, including one accident in which a motorist ran a red light and plowed into a passing Santa Ana Police patrol car, officials said.
A Santa Ana officer, whose name was not released, suffered back and neck injuries after being broadsided at 1st and Main streets in Santa Ana about 8 p.m., Lt. Dave Petko said.
Investigators were trying to determine why the driver ignored the stop signal, Petko said.
Officials said they believed the officer was not seriously injured, but it took emergency workers more than 90 minutes to cut through the wreckage and pull the officer out of the mangled car.
“He doesn’t appear to be visibly injured, but he’s complaining of back and neck injuries,” Petko said. The driver of the other vehicle involved in the collision was also being treated for possible neck and back injuries, officials said.
In Anaheim, a motorcycle officer on patrol apparently lost control at 8:22 and toppled after grazing the center divider on eastbound Ball Road near the Ox Road intersection. No other vehicles were involved in the accident, according to Anaheim Police Sgt. Mark Irwin.
That officer, who was identified only as a four-year veteran, was hospitalized with “minor trauma,” Irwin said.
The Anaheim crash occurred on a near-empty stretch of Ball Road, and the aftermath was witnessed only by curious guests and bellhops at the adjacent Anaheim Sheraton hotel.
The Santa Ana crash blocked a major intersection in the city’s busy downtown and caused evening traffic jams in all four directions, Petko said.
“It caused a traffic disaster,” Petko said. “It was a zoo.”