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Traffic Officer Hospitalized After Being Struck by DUI Driver

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By Jorge Casuso

September 14, 2023 -- A motorist was arrested for driving under the influence of drugs after striking an SMPD traffic enforcement scooter Wednesday afternoon, seriously injuring the officer, according to police.

The traffic services officer -- who was ejected from her vehicle -- is in stable condition at a local hospital, police officials said Thursday afternoon.

A preliminary investigation found the scooter was crossing the intersection of Yale Street and Santa Monica Boulevard on a green light when it was struck by a black Audi traveling westbound on the boulevard at around 2 p.m., police said.

Responding officers found the occupant "had been ejected from the scooter and was suffering from significant injuries," said Lt. Erika Aklufi, the Police Department spokesperson.

Santa Monica Fire Department paramedics transported the traffic officer to a local hospital for treatment, she said.

"Our hearts are with our injured employee as she begins the long road to healing," Aklufi said.

Per policy, the California Highway Patrol was called to handle the crash investigation and reporting, police said.

Officers from LAPD’s Pacific Division assisted with a DUI exam of the driver of the Audi for suspected drug use, Aklufi said.

"The driver was ultimately arrested for Felony Driving Under the Influence," she said.

"This is a hard reminder that we are all at risk, anytime and anywhere, when drivers choose to use drugs or drink and drive," Aklufi said.

Those who see someone who appears to be driving under the influence should immediately call 9-1-1 "for the safety of all of us in the Santa Monica community," she said.

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