Two witnesses to a hit-and-run collision that left a Los Angeles Police Department motorcycle officer hospitalized with a broken leg said Thursday they saw the suspect's vehicle cross double center lines immediately before the collision.
The officer, who works for the LAPD's West Traffic Division, was hospitalized with non life-threatening injuries, after being struck by the hit- and-run driver just north of the intersection of Pacific Coast Highway and Sunset Boulevard at 7:51 p.m. Wednesday, a department spokesman said.
A witness to the collision told a videographer the officer had just crossed the intersection and was heading north in the No. 1 lane of PCH when the suspect's southbound silver Mercedes Benz convertible turned left across the double lines and struck the motorcycle.
A second witness said she saw the suspect's vehicle go over the double yellow lines, in the center of the highway, before striking the officer.
The first witness said he was alongside his car at a gas station on the northeast corner of the intersection. The second witness said she was in her car at the time.
The LAPD motorcycle "wobbled for a bit" as the officer fought to stabilize it before toppling over and throwing the officer into the roadway, the first witness said, adding that the suspect drove into the station "at a pretty fast pace."
The witness said it appeared the suspect was trying to exit the station onto an eastbound lane of Sunset Blvd., but his passage was blocked by a parked gas tanker.
The second witness said her car was almost struck by the suspect as his car entered the gas station.
"At that time, I started running to the officer to see if he was OK," she said.
A Los Angeles County Sheriff's deputy who was parked at the scene said he went to render assistance to the fallen LAPD officer. As he did so, the deputy told the videographer, he saw the suspect's car exit the gas station, turning north onto PCH.
The deputy said he thought the suspect was going to offer assistance and told him to pull over, ahead of the accident scene. Instead, the suspect pulled away, the deputy said.
The witnesses said the deputy, in his own vehicle, then chased the suspect.
Broadcast TV reports said the suspect's vehicle license plate number was 6YIP620.— City News Service