A Yuba-Sutter California Highway Patrol officer was hospitalized with major injuries Saturday morning after being struck by a suspected drunk driver while directing traffic.
The driver, a 21-year-old Chico State University student Lucas Nelson was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence. Banuelos said Nelson has been booked into the Sutter County Jail.
Two CHP officers responded to reports of a malfunctioning railroad crossing sign on State Route 99 at Lomo Crossing shortly after 1 a.m. Saturday morning, according to CHP Sgt. Nelda Banuelos.
“The grade crossings were not working so the officers began directing traffic,” said Banuelos.
Banuelos said while the officers directed traffic, a grey SUV traveling at a high rate of speed failed to stop at the railroad crossing and stuck one of the officers before running off the roadway.
“His partner was lucky he did not get hit as well,” said Banuelos. “He was able to jump out of the way of the vehicle.”
According to Banuelos, Nelson tried to flee the scene after his car came to a stop but the uninjured officer was able to apprehend him.
“He was placed in handcuffs and brought back to the patrol car before the officer rendered aid to his partner,” said Banuelos.
Banuelos said the injured officer was transported to UC Davis Medical Center with major injuries but was in stable condition as of Saturday afternoon.
The names of the officers involved had not been released as of Saturday afternoon.
Banuelos asked the public to keep the officer in their thoughts through the recovery and warned of the dangers of driving under the influence.
“We want everyone to go out and have a good time but please don’t drink and drive,” said Banuelos. “There are other ways to get home safely.”
According to Banuelos, State Route 99 remained closed until 8 a.m. while CHP’s Multidisciplinary Accident Investigation Team investigating the incident.