TULARE COUNTY, Calif. (KSEE/KGPE) — An officer was injured early Saturday morning after a patrol car was struck by a driver suspected of driving under the influence along Highway 99 near Visalia while checking on an abandoned vehicle, according to the California Highway Patrol.
A CHP patrol car with two officers pulled behind an abandoned vehicle along southbound Highway 99 just south of Betty Drive around 2:20 a.m., said Sgt. Michael Wolfe. The passenger left the patrol car to inspect the abandoned vehicle while the driver pulled the vehicle’s plates.
A vehicle driven by Tristin Zurita, 26, of Tulare, then swerved and struck the CHP patrol car.
The officer driving the patrol car suffered moderate injuries, while Zurita suffered minor to moderate injuries, Wolfe said. Both were taken to Kaweah Delta Medical Center for treatment and were later released.
The officer who was outside of the patrol car during the collision was not injured, Wolfe added.
The CHP believes Zurita was intoxicated at the time of the collision.
Zurita was arrested and booked into the Tulare County Jail on charges of driving under the influence of alcohol and drugs causing injury, DUI with .20% blood alcohol content causing injury and obstructing an officer. She is held on a $100,000 bond.
The collision is still under investigation.