DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – A Dallas police officer was rushed to the hospital with critical injuries Monday after a crash at Westmoreland and Keist in Southwest Dallas shortly after 2 p.m.
His cruiser went down into a creek after it was struck by an SUV.
Police said the 11 and a half year DPD veteran was heading to a call in the 3100 block of Westmoreland when the suspect’s SUV going westbound in the 3300 block of W. Pentagon Parkway, “failed to yield the right of way and collided with the squad car.”
Police suspect the Chevy Silverado that hit the officer’s patrol car was stolen and they’re currently searching for four to six suspects.
The impact caused the officer’s car to leave the roadway and fall into a creek below.
“He’s banged up and in a lot of pain but overall he’s in good spirits,” said Chief Martinez Tuesday afternoon during a press conference.
The car was pulled from the creek around 6:30 p.m. Monday. CBS11’s Jeff Paul tweeted out video:
The suspects took off and it’s not clear if they intentionally struck the officer’s vehicle.
“When they hit him, he went airborne. I was like, ‘I got to go down there,’ ” said Richard Robertson, who saw the crash.
Robertson said he did not think twice and slid down into the creek to help the officer.
“I had to slap him three times to get his conscious back up, he wouldn’t answer me,” said Robertson.
As Robertson worked to rescue the officer, Benji Rogers who works at the nearby U-Haul store heard the crash and also jumped into action to help.
“Other people were coming down, so I get everybody, ‘Look guys, we got to get this car up out of the water,’ ” said Rogers.
The group managed to flip the car onto its side and waited for paramedics to arrive.
“It’s a police officer,” said Robertson. “He helps me. Everybody needs help.”
Dallas Police said while they are still investigating, the actions likely helped save the officer.
“It appears that way and we are most grateful,” said Sgt. Warren Mitchell of Dallas Police.
Investigators said the driver of the truck bailed out and ran off on foot after colliding with the officer.
Sources said the officer who was hit has a punctured lung but should recover.
“I’d tell him I love him and thank him for the job he do for me,” said Robertson. “He would have did it for me.”
Anyone with information about the incident should call the DPD Vehicle Crimes Unit at 214.670.5817.