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Officer pulls deputy out of car at last second before crash, likely saving his life

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March 23–Quick-thinking by a police officer early Thursday morning prevented a Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department deputy from suffering more serious injury when a car plowed into police cruiser causing a chain-reaction crash involving three patrol vehicles parked along Franklin Boulevard.

The alert officer noticed an oncoming vehicle in the pre-dawn hours and pulled the deputy to the side, preventing the crashing car from causing him further harm.

The potentially fatal incident began after a sheriff’s deputy had pulled over a suspected stolen auto about 1:15 a.m. The driver of the suspected stolen car was cited and released.

Later, about 2 a.m., the deputy’s patrol vehicle and two Sacramento police vehicles were parked along Franklin Boulevard near Mack Road. The owner of the vehicle had arrived on the scene and was sitting in one of the police cars, which was parked in a row in front of another police car and the deputy’s squad car.

The deputy was outside the vehicle on the passenger side of a police patrol car and was speaking to the rightful car owner who was seated in the back seat. Next to him was a Sacramento police officer.

When the officer looked up, she saw a vehicle barreling toward the police car northbound on Franklin Boulevard. It was then that she took action.

“Our officer did not believe the car was going to stop,” said Officer Linda Matthew, Sacramento police spokesman. “So she grabbed the sheriff’s deputy to alert him and pull him out of the way. He was still hit, perhaps by the door of the car, but his injuries could have been a lot worse because he was leaning into the car.”

The oncoming car hit the first police car hard, pushing it into the other police car, which then crashed into the deputy’s vehicle.

“It was a domino effect,” Matthew said.

Five ambulances arrived on the scene to transfer six people to the hospital. The deputy was taken to the hospital with moderate injuries.

The registered owner of the stolen car, the driver of the car that crashed and her front seat passenger all complained of pain. Two small boys in the back seat of the crashing car, ages 3 and 5, were taken as a precaution to the hospital.

Bill Lindelof: 916-321-1079, @Lindelofnews

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