CHP officer hurt in suspected DUI hit-and-run

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LEMON GROVE, Calif. -- A San Diego California Highway Patrol officer was hit by a suspected drunk driver in the East County late Tuesday night.

Police say the officer was removing debris from State Route 94 in the Lemon Grove area around 10:30 p.m. when he noticed a car speeding toward him. He was able to stop the car, but when he started to approach the driver, they hit the gas. The driver smashed into the officer and patrol car before driving off, according to CHP.

The officer was left injured on the side of the freeway but was able to move to safety and call for help. A short time later, police tracked down the badly damaged car about one mile away.

Video showed the man, who was wearing a green lei, getting breathalyzed and interviewed by officers before he was handcuffed and put in the back of a police car. He was arrested on suspicion of drunk driving, CHP said.

A woman believed to be the man's girlfriend showed up in her own car during his arrest and also failed a sobriety test, according to CHP. She was arrested as well.

The officer was taken to the hospital but expected to make a full recovery from "moderate" injuries, officials said.

The accident came just a day after a CHP officer was killed in a shootout off Interstate 215 in Riverside.

"We know when we go to work every day this is inherently a dangerous job," CHP Officer Travis Garrow said.  "It can be dangerous; it can even cost us our lives sometimes. We know that every day when we go to work and we're willing to put that on the line to keep people safe in our communities."

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