Calif. LEO injured in hit-and-run

The officer swerved to avoid a driver traveling the wrong way on the road, hit a tree

PoliceOne Staff 

SANTA ROSA, Calif. — A Santa Rosa police officer was injured Tuesday afternoon when a hit-and-run driver allegedly forced his patrol car off the street and into a tree. 

KPIX reports the officer, whose name has not been released, had to swerve in an evasive maneuver after a white hatchback started driving the wrong way, coming toward the officer’s patrol car. As the patrol car swerved, the officer lost control, drove onto the center median and hit a tree. 

The driver of the hatchback fled the scene, KPIX reports. The officer was treated for minor injuries at a local hospital and then released. His patrol car was totaled. 

Elizabeth Balchowsky, the driver accused of causing the crash, later returned to the scene, authorities told KPIX. She initially denied any involvement but eventually accepted responsibility and consented to a police interview. She was arrested for felony hit and run and causing serious injury. 

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