Pomona motorcycle officer critically injured while responding to fatal crash

POMONA, Calif. (KABC) -- A Pomona Police Department motorcycle officer was critically injured in a wreck while responding to a separate fatal crash on Tuesday, authorities said.

The first collision occurred in the 2200 block of N. Garey Avenue. Police said a pedestrian was killed after being struck by a car around 6:35 a.m. The driver initially fled but later returned to the scene and surrendered to authorities.

The injured man died at the scene. The coroner's office identified him as 60-year-old Charles Washington. Officials described him as a transient.

Pomona police said the motorcycle officer was responding to this fatal crash when the officer was involved in a separate wreck with a Ford Explorer in the 1400 block of N. Garey Avenue, about eight blocks north of the first crash.

The injured officer was described as a 32-year-old who had been with Pomona police for nine years and with law enforcement for 12 years.

Authorities said the crash occurred when the Ford Explorer turned left into on-coming traffic, striking the motorcycle officer. The driver of the Ford was taken to Pomona Police Department headquarters for questioning and was reported to be cooperating fully with the investigation.

"Right now, there is at least one active criminal investigation scene - that's the hit-and-run. This scene right here, we're not searching if there's any criminal activity. We're looking at the possibility of distracted driving, under the influence is still part of the investigation process," said CHP Officer Rodrigo Jimenez, who added that it's still not determined if drugs or alcohol played a role in the incident.

The officer was critically injured and transported to LAC+USC Medical Center for treatment of a serious head injury.

Garey Avenue was closed in the area due to the two crashes, which were both under investigation by the California Highway Patrol.
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