Lake Elsinore Police Officer Hospitalized in 'Airborne' Wreck

The sheriff's department confirms a deputy assigned to the Lake Elsinore Police Department was injured in the Monday night crash.

CHP officials say this sheriff's cruiser catapulted over a large pile of rocks late on Feb. 10, 2014 along Highway 74, just south of Trellis Lane.  Photo by: Daniel Lane
CHP officials say this sheriff's cruiser catapulted over a large pile of rocks late on Feb. 10, 2014 along Highway 74, just south of Trellis Lane. Photo by: Daniel Lane
*Editor's note: This article has been updated to provide additional details from the scene.

A sheriff's department cruiser crashed in Lake Elsinore late Monday night, injuring the occupant inside, the California Highway Patrol reports.

Riverside County Sheriff's Deputy Armando Munoz confirms to Patch that a deputy assigned to the Lake Elsinore Police Department somehow crashed their black-and-white cruiser in the area of State Route 74 and Rosetta Canyon Drive, just before 10:30 p.m.

"They did take him out of the vehicle, and they transported him to a local hospital," Munoz told Patch by telephone Monday night, while speaking of the emergency response efforts following the crash.

"We're still piecing things together, but what we do know now is the sheriff's unit was responding to a back-up call for a domestic violence incident ," CHP Officer Ron Thatcher said at the scene.  

"For unknown reasons at this time, the deputy lost control of his unit— he was traveling eastbound on Highway 74 near Trellis Lane— he veered off the north road edge and struck a large pile of rocks sending the unit airborne and it came to rest on its wheels," he told Patch.

The car landed some 50 feet from the side of the highway following the collision, but the extent of the officer's injuries weren't immediately known.

"I can't guess on [how severe his injuries are], but I know there's some blood, evidence, in the vehicle on the airbags, so there are going to be some facial lacerations, but other than that I don't know," Thatcher said.

Cal Fire confirms that they responded to the scene, and assisted with the rescue efforts.   However, the damage to the vehicle was not so bad as to require paramedics use the jaws of life, Riverside County Fire Department Spokeswoman Melody Hendrickson said.

"It was not a cut and rescue," Thatcher said, adding that emergency crews likely had to help the officer out of the vehicle through other means.

Initial CHP logs indicated the vehicle may have rolled, but once crews got on scene they ruled that out.

"It doesn't appear that [the cruiser] rolled," Thatcher described.  "It looks like it had catapulted or launched itself over the large pile of rocks and kind of came nose-down into the dirt, but I don't see any evidence of the vehicle rolling."

The roadway, described as a well-lit good-condition thoroughfare, was closed for about an hour and a half following the crash.

dick weed February 12, 2014 at 12:37 PM
poor reporting as always when it comes to patch and are city and what ever branch of city is being reported
Sherry Thompson February 12, 2014 at 06:05 PM
Prayers for the Officer's family and hopefully a quick recovery!
Allen G February 13, 2014 at 03:36 AM
he was probably driving and texting. don't worry folks, he'll be ok... and no, he won't be paying any fines. but yes, you will have to pay for the damaged patrol car.
Allen G February 13, 2014 at 03:38 AM
also, isn't it ironic that he crashed by a for sale sign? did anyone else see that???? they are already ready to sell that wrecked car back to the public. hahahahaha


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