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Three California Highway Patrol officers were injured when a suspected drunk driver slammed into the back of a patrol car on a Los Angeles-area freeway, causing it to burst into flames early Thursday morning.
The massive fire was caught on video. Authorities said the officers were investigating a crash along the 105 Freeway around midnight local time and had blocked off the area with flares. About 90 minutes later, police say a woman in an SUV drove right through the flares and slammed into the back of a patrol car that was parked on the side of the freeway.
The patrol car spun clockwise, hitting one of the CHP officers who was standing outside, according to Fox 11. Authorities say that officer suffered major injures.
The patrol car then caught on fire, with two officers still inside. A good Samaritan and another CHP officer ran to the burning car and pulled the two officers out just as the vehicle became fully engulfed in flames, according to Fox 11. The station reported that another good Samaritan pulled the third officer, who was hit by the spinning patrol car, away from the flames.
“I applaud those good Samaritans for their courage to step up and then come in and help our officer getting out of the car that was fully engulfed. Kudos to them,” CHP Officer Kevin Tao told Fox 11.
Police said the two officers pulled from the burning cruiser suffered moderate injures. All three officers were taken to area hospitals.
The suspect, identified as 41-year-old Lakia Jackson, was taken into custody. Witnesses said they saw her speeding up to 95 miles per hour before the crash. CHP officials told Fox 11 they expect Jackson to be booked for driving under the influence.