Heavy rains continued to wreak havoc on Southern California roads Wednesday; sudden floods dumped a mudslide across Highway 91 in Corona and a police officer was seriously injured on a rain-slicked street in Hemet.
• An on-duty police officer on his way to the station was broadsided by a van that ran a two-way stop sign. The driver said she didn’t see the stop sign and did not brake before hitting the unmarked patrol car.
• The officer was pinned in his car but was able to radio the dispatch center for help. Firefighters had to use the Jaws of Life to cut him out of the car. He was rushed to the hospital.
• No one else was injured. The woman driving the van was arrested for driving with a suspended license.
The chaos spread all over Riverside County. California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) crews were stretched to the limit, shoveling mud and packing sandbags on residential streets in Highland and clearing a massive mudslide on Highway 91 in Corona. Here are a few photos of the disaster:
Clockwise from top left: A sink hole on Seventh Street near Ivy Drive in San Jacinto; police officers at the site of a major injury accident involving a Hemet police officer in an unmarked car; Caltrans crews place sandbags in Highland; emergency workers prepare the injured police officer for transport.
Over in Hemet, on-duty police Sgt. Eric Dickson was hospitalized after his unmarked patrol car was broadsided by a driver who ran a stop sign on a wet road. Dickson was driving north on Buena Vista Street at 9:08 a.m. when the car accident occurred, according to a report in the Valley Chronicle. He was traveling about 35 mph on his way to the police station down the street.
A van driven by 21-year-old Hemet resident Raquel Del Campo was traveling east on Central Avenue at the same time. The van, which was carrying four children, was also traveling about 35 mph. Del Campo did not stop at the sign at the intersection of the two streets and crashed her van into Dickson’s car.
The impact crushed the side of the unmarked patrol car. Dickson was pinned inside but was able to radio the dispatch center, which allowed police and emergency workers to get to the scene quickly.
Firefighters had to use the Jaws of Life to cut the officer out of the car. He was rushed to the hospital to be treated for his injuries, the nature and extent of which were not released. Neither Del Campo nor any of her passengers was injured.
Del Campo said she did not see the stop sign, so she didn’t brake or swerve before hitting Dickson’s car. She was arrested at the scene for driving on a suspended license, but was released on her own recognizance. Officials did not say why her license had been suspended.
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