Los Angeles, CA – A Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) officer who was struck by a drunk driver has lost his right leg from the crash.
The collision occurred when Officer Fadi Chelico was standing on the side of 405 Freeway, just south of Santa Monica Boulevard, on Dec. 11 conducting a traffic stop with the driver of a speeding Honda Accord, according to California Highway Patrol (CHP) Officer Tony Polizzi.
Police said that the driver of a 2003 Infiniti Q35 being driven by Woodland Hills resident Douglas Donovan was in the northbound No. 5 lane when he maneuvered the Infiniti “unsafely to the right,” and rear-ended the police officer’s 2014 Ford Explorer, according to the CHP.
Once hit, the patrol car then hit the officer, severing his leg, and crashing into the Honda Accord, according to KTLA.
“It was a close call. Any time you operate on the right shoulder of the freeway, it’s never safe,” CHP Officer Vance Perreira told reporters at the scene.
He said that CHP officers were already in the area when the crash occurred.
“They said it could have been about … a minute after it happened,” Officer Perreira told the Los Angeles Daily News. “They passed by, were first on scene, rendered aid, possibly saved his life.”
No one else was injured, including Donovan, who was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence. The CHP confirmed that alcohol and/or drugs played a role in the crash, according to KTLA.
A GoFundMe page has been started to help Officer Chelico with medical expenses.
Our thoughts and prayers are with Officer Chelico and his family as he recovers.