San Diego

Suspected DUI Driver Flees After Hitting Officer on SR-94 in Lemon Grove, CHP Says

A California Highway Patrol officer was struck and injured by a driver he was attempting to pull over along a San Diego-area highway Tuesday. 

Officer Robert Stevens, a one-and-a-half-year veteran, was patroling State Route 94 near College Avenue when he saw a Nissan straddling the lanes with damage to its hood that was impairing the driver, according to CHP officials.

Stevens stopped along the right shoulder and the Nissan stopped directly behind him, officials said.

When Stevens stepped out of his vehicle, the car accelerated towards him, according to the CHP.

In an attempt to avoid the car, the officer dived onto the trunk of his patrol car. The car struck both the CHP officer and his the driver's side door of the patrol car before taking off eastbound, spokesperson Travis Garrow said. 

"Fortunately, our officer was able to put out that radio traffic that the vehicle had just struck him, a description of the vehicle and the way it was heading," he said. 

Stevens suffered a moderate leg injury and was being treated at a local hospital, according to the CHP. 

A short distance later, CHP officers stopped a Nissan Altima with damage to its front hood. The driver was operating the vehicle while the car's hood was raised, Garrow said. 

Officials say the driver was also traveling about 15 to 20 mph. 

The driver was evaluated for driving under the influence and was taken into custody near Lemon Grove Avenue. He faces DUI charges and felony hit-and-run causing injury, CHP said. 

He was later identified as Aralas Ector, 32, of Spring Valley. 

A woman, believed to be the driver's girlfriend, drove to the scene where the arrest was being made. She was also believed to be under the influence and was arrested on DUI charges, though she was not believed to be involved with the crash, Garrow said. 

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