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Avoiding deer, CHP officer crashes

Posted: Monday, Nov 26th, 2012

WATSONVILLE — A California Highway Patrol officer suffered moderate injuries early Sunday morning when the patrol car he was riding in slammed into a guardrail.

CHP officer Sarah Jackson said another CHP officer was driving the marked CHP Crown Victoria Police Interceptor car at 1:40 a.m. on northbound Highway 1 just south of Freedom Boulevard.

At one point a deer darted in front of the car and the officer swerved to avoid contact. The patrol car then crashed into the center median destroying the car.

The driver escaped injury, but his front seat passenger, and fellow officer, was injured.

Jackson said the injured officer was taken to a local hospital and was treated and released.

Jackson described the patrol car as a “total loss.”

“In the case of a small animal, including deer from our region, I always recommend that drivers do not swerve if the animal runs into your path,” Jackson said. “I know there is a strong human desire to not to strike an object, especially a living being. But I’ve never seen anyone injured by striking a deer of a dog.”

Jackson said it is CHP policy to have two officers in a patrol car after 10 p.m.

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