A Lake County sheriff’s deputy was injured Sunday when her patrol car collided with a vehicle whose driver may have run a stop sign while opening a beer, authorities said.
The officer was hospitalized with what police said were serious, but not life-threatening, injuries. The other motorist, a 59-year-old North Chicago man, was taken to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries, police said.
The collision happened at around 6:10 p.m. Sunday as the officer responded to a call for a battery in progress near the intersection of Green Bay and Wadsworth roads, near Beach Park.
Police said the alleged offender fled in a vehicle, and the victim followed to the area of Lewis Avenue and Yorkhouse Road in Waukegan. Two sheriff’s officers responded and were driving south on Lewis. As they approached the intersection with Edgewood Road, a pickup truck driven by the North Chicago man disregarded a stop sign and drove into the intersection, police said.
The first officer swerved to avoid a collision, police said, but the second struck the pickup truck on the front driver’s side. The injured officer was taken to Advocate Condell Medical Center in Libertyville and remained in the hospital Monday morning, police said.
The officers had their emergency lights and sirens activated, police said. The pickup driver told police that the last thing he remembered before the crash was opening a can of beer. Waukegan police are investigating the collision.
“One of our sheriff’s deputies was seriously injured in a crash because a thoughtless individual felt it was more important to drink a beer while driving, putting everyone on the roadway at risk, instead of driving safe,” Sheriff John Idleburg said Monday. “We say it time and time again, don’t drink and drive. We are all wishing our deputy a speedy recovery.”