Driver Arrested After Crash Leaves LAPD Motorcycle Officer in Critical Condition

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A woman was in custody Sunday after a multi-vehicle collision in Sun Valley that left a motorcycle officer in critical condition, authorities said.

Qaneak Cobb, 33, of Pacoima was arrested at the scene Saturday for felony DUI drugs, according to a statement from the Los Angeles Police Department. She was booked at Van Nuys Jail and is being held on $185,000 bail.

The officer, a 26-year-veteran of the force, was gravely injured in the crash, the statement said. He remained hospitalized in critical but stable condition Sunday at Providence Holy Cross Medical Center in Mission Hills.

Los Angeles police officers examined the wreckage of a motorcycle and an SUV after a crash in Sun Valley on April 5, 2014. (Credit: KTLA)

The incident occurred about 5:30 p.m. Saturday at the intersection of Lankershim Boulevard and Saticoy Street (map), according to Sgt. Jodie McGee of the LAPD’s Valley Traffic Division.

The officer was traveling southbound on Lankershim and stopped at a red light when he was struck from behind by a Chevy Blazer that failed to stop, causing the motorcycle to hit a Honda Accord in front of it, McGee said. The motorcycle was trapped in between the two other vehicles as a result.

“As soon as it impacted with him, the officer flew up and landed back onto his motorcycle. Half of his body was over his motorcycle — the front part,” said Alicia Garcia, a nursing student. She and a nurse were among the bystanders who rushed to render aid after the crash.

“A civilian was able to grab the officer’s walkie-talkie and called it in,” Garcia said. “Within a minute, they were here and they were able to get to him.”

The officer, whose name has not been released, has undergone multiple surgeries since being admitted to the hospital, according to his commanding officer, Capt. Maureen Ryan.

“Right now, we don’t expect anymore surgeries this evening,” Ryan said Sunday. “They’re trying to give his body some chance to rest overnight. There is likelihood that there will be surgery tomorrow on his back and his spine.”

Numerous family members and fellow officers were at his bedside Sunday, as was Police Chief Charlie Beck on Saturday, according to the LAPD.

Motorcycle officers are “very vulnerable,” said Sgt. Frank Preciado. “They go through a different kind of driving course, to try to anticipate some individuals. But, as you can see, it’s very difficult when someone’s coming from behind you.”

A blood drive in support of the injured officer is scheduled for 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday at Providence Holy Cross Medical Center. The hospital is located at 15031 Rinaldi Street in Mission Hills (map).

The blood drive will be held at the admitting bungalows near the emergency room, according to a news release.

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