WESTMINSTER, Colo. (KDVR) — A Westminster police officer is home recovering after being hit by a driver Wednesday morning.
It happened at the intersection of 92nd Avenue and Westminster Boulevard after police say a driver fled a traffic stop in a stolen car.
Police say that driver was speeding eastbound on 92nd Avenue, running a red light before slamming into a police officer driving southbound on Westminster Boulevard. A passenger in the stolen car was killed, and the driver remains hospitalized.
The officer and a civilian passenger were taken to the hospital and later released.
The crash marked the sixth time since Christmas day that a law enforcement officer was hit by a driver on Colorado roadways. A plow operator with the Colorado Department of Transportation also was struck on Christmas.
“We tell people every year, ‘Hey, remember how to drive in the winter,’ but we still seem to have the same problems every year,” Colorado State Patrol Master Trooper Gary Cutler said.
Cutler said the frequency of patrol cars hit this week has been alarming and is a testament to driver behavior on Colorado roads in the winter.
“Recently, we’ve had a lot of snow in the mountains, we’ve had colder temperatures, and that means we’re going to have icy, snow-packed roads,” he said. “And people aren’t giving themselves enough time to stop when they come across something.”
Cutler said multiple crashes have involved drivers failing to obey the state’s “move over” law and then losing control while approaching emergency vehicles.
“We have to take our driving seriously, and we’re not doing that right now,” he said, “and that’s why we’re having a lot of fatalities, not only with the public driving but also with first responders being hit.”