Lakewood police: Officer making DUI arrest rear-ended, injured by another drunk driver

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Posted at 11:01 AM, May 11, 2019
and last updated 2019-05-12 01:28:10-04

LAKEWOOD, Colo. — A police officer and a DUI suspect were both injured when a second impaired driver rear-ended the officer’s patrol car, Lakewood police said Saturday.

The officer was in the process of arresting the first suspected DUI driver and both the officer and the suspect were in the vehicle when the crash happened at about 3 a.m. Saturday near the intersection of South Wadsworth Boulevard and Morrison Road.

"It was pretty bad," said Agent Louis Strube. "There was substantial damage to our patrol vehicle."

Police identified the driver who rear-ended the patrol vehicle as Casey Lavia, 21. They did not release the identity of the other driver.

The officer and both DUI suspects were treated for minor injuries. The suspects have since been released and booked in the Jefferson County Jail on suspicion of driving under the influence.

Strube says state law mandates that motorists vacate the lane closest to emergency vehicles, if possible to do so.

"If you can't move over," he said, "please slow down for us while we're working out there."

Strube told Denver7 that the Lakewood officer was lucky he wasn't more seriously injured.

"If he had been outside and didn't have the protection of his patrol car, it could have been worse," he said.

Police said the injured officer has been released from the hospital and is recovering at home.