Five St. Louis-area police officers were injured early Wednesday when they were struck by an SUV driven by a suspected drunken driver.
Three of the officers were in serious condition and two suffered moderate injuries, the Missouri State Highway Patrol said. A 2-year-old girl in the Jeep Cherokee that struck the officers suffered minor injuries.
The accident happened at 1:42 a.m. on Interstate 270 in Maryland Heights, Missouri. The officers are part of a regional task force that focuses on auto thefts and other crimes.
The officers had chased a suspected car thief who crashed and were handling that wreckage when they were hit. The highway patrol said patrol cars were blocking the two left lanes, waiting for a tow truck to remove the wrecked car, and had their emergency lights flashing.
The Jeep Cherokee tried to swerve but struck a Lake Saint Louis police car, causing one officer to be ejected as the police car spun out of control and struck two other Lake Saint Louis officers standing nearby, the patrol said.
The three officers were seriously injured. Two St. Charles County officers were inside a police car that was also struck, and suffered moderate injuries. The injured officers range in age from 26 to 34.
The 31-year-old driver of the SUV was unhurt. He was arrested on suspicion of driving while intoxicated.