3 CHP officers hurt in fiery wreck on 105 Freeway

Three California Highway Patrol officers investigating a Los Angeles-area freeway crash were injured early Thursday when a motorist smashed into a CHP patrol car and it burst into flames, authorities said.

The fiery wreck occurred around 1:30 a.m. on the eastbound side of 105 Freeway in Downey near the Lakewood Boulevard off-ramp.

An officer who was standing outside the patrol car suffered major injuries, said CHP Officer Kevin Tao.

The other two officers were in the cruiser and suffered moderate injuries, he said. All were taken to a local hospital.

A woman who was driving the SUV that hit the CHP vehicle was arrested for investigation of driving under the influence, Tao said. She was not immediately identified.

The officers were on the freeway in response to a solo vehicle crash that occurred shortly after midnight, leaving that vehicle disabled.

About 90 minutes later, the SUV went through a flare pattern and struck the CHP cruiser, Tao said.

Witnesses told officers the driver was speeding, City News Service reported.

“The driver did not apply brakes and went straight into the CHP patrol car with all four wheels off the ground,” Robert Martinez told CBS 2.

“Immediately upon impact the patrol car burst into flames,” Tao said.

Video from the scene showed a handcuffed woman being walked to a patrol car. Tao said the woman probably suffered minor injuries.

The eastbound side of I-105 remained completely shut down in the area for hours as the CHP’s Multidisciplinary Accident Investigation Team worked the scene.

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