SDPD Detective Loses Leg in Motorcycle Crash

Det. James Hunter is very athletic and keeps active through CrossFit, a colleague says

By Elena Gomez, R. Stickney, Artie Ojeda and Christina London
|  Thursday, Jun 20, 2013  |  Updated 6:50 PM PDT
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Off Duty Detective Injured in Crash

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SDPD Detective Loses Leg in Motorcycle Crash

Detective James "Chappie" Hunter was off-duty Sunday riding his motorcycle when he was hit by a car in Alpine. NBC 7 reporter Artie Ojeda explains.

Off Duty Detective Injured in Crash

A San Diego detective was seriously injured after being involved in an accident while he was off duty in Alpine. NBC 7's Elena Gomez reports. CORRECTION: In the report, we identified the victim as a 19-year-old veteran of SDPD. He is in fact a 19-year veteran. We regret the error.
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An off-duty San Diego police detective who lost part of his leg after an accident in Alpine was released from the hospital on Thursday, police confirmed.

On Sunday, Detective James "Chappie" Hunter's motorcycle collided with a white sedan in the 2100 block of Alpine Boulevard.

The detective was hospitalized. Besides having his left leg amputated below the knee, he was also treated for a broken arm and internal injuries, according to officials.

The car made a right turn and clipped the detective’s motorcycle, according to witness Ryan Parker.

“We were just coming back from dinner and we rolled up and we saw the guy lying on the ground,” Parker said.

Parker said he could tell immediately the rider’s leg was seriously injured.

“His leg was completely in a wrong, you know, different spot than he was. It didn’t look very good at all."

Mercy Air flew Hunter to Sharp Memorial Hospital.

Hunter is a 19-year veteran of the San Diego Police Department who works on the Human Trafficking Task Force, according to officials.

The detective was “alert and thinking positive about the future,” said SDPD Sex Crimes Unit Lt. Chuck Kaye, who works closely with Hunter.

Kaye described Hunter as "a big Cross Fit guy" who is in excellent shape. He added that will help Hunter in his recovery.

San Diego Police Chief William Lansdowne and three police captains visited Hunter in the hospital Monday. Lansdowne said he was in good spirits.

Despite some media reports that identified the driver as an unlicensed 15-year-old girl, CHP officers said the driver was 17 and has a valid permit. The driver was with her mother at the time of the crash.

California Highway Patrol Officer Kevin Pearlstein said the collision is under investigation. After the investigation, officers will determine if charges will be filed, he said. 

Meanwhile, the San Diego Police Officers Association (SDPOA) has set up a fund to help Hunter, his wife and young son. Checks should be made payable to SDPOA with “Detective Chappie Hunter” in the memo line. They can be sent to:

San Diego Police Officers Association
Widows and Orphans Fund
8388 Vickers Street
San Diego, CA 92111

You can also contact the SDPOA office at 858-573-1199.

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