A California Highway Patrol motorcycle officer and a motorist were injured today when an out-of-control pickup truck veered off Interstate 15 in the Grantville area and struck the lawman as he assisted with an earlier accident, authorities said.
The Toyota Tacoma veered all the way across the southbound lanes of the freeway near Interstate 8 shortly before 9 a.m. Tuesday. It struck a center divider wall, then crashed into a CHP cruiser before hitting the motorcycle officer, who was standing next to the barrier, according to the Highway Patrol.
"And from what we can gather, the officer... either tumbled with or (was) caught under the Toyota at that point and (was dragged) some distance to the south," CHP public affairs Officer Brad Baehr told reporters.
The pickup came to a stop with the officer underneath it, Baehr said. As traffic on the interstate ground to a halt due to the accident, four men jumped out of vehicles, hurried over to the Tacoma and worked together to pull it off the patrolman.
"The officer was still able to move his limbs, and he was able to communicate back (to us), so that was a good sign," one of the good Samaritans told News 8. "We were able to lift the truck back."
Medics took the officer to Scripps Mercy Hospital in Hillcrest. His name and condition were not immediately available.
The driver of the pickup truck also was taken to a trauma center for treatment of undisclosed injuries.
Before being transported, the man told a witness he thought he might have passed out just prior to the wreck due to a reaction to medication he takes for a heart condition.