Topeka KS crash: Two officers hit by van along I-70; 4 reported injured

05/13/2010 // West Palm Beach, Florida, USA // Nicole Howley // Nicole Howley

Topeka, KS—Two officers who were helping maintain a perimeter while others searched for two suspects were injured when a vehicle slammed into one of their police vehicles alongside the shoulder of I-70. Officials reported that the accident occurred around 1:45 p.m., on eastbound I-70, as reported by WIBW.

Topeka police officials stated that when TPD officers tried to stop a vehicle for a traffic violation, the suspects took off, leading police officers on a brief chase. The fleeing vehicle was finally stopped in the Auburndale neighborhood, where the suspects continued to run on foot. The officers chasing the suspects then called for back up.

TPD officer Jason Harwood and KHP trooper Kody Olson responded to the call for backup, parking their vehicles on the I-70 shoulder to keep a perimeter. As the officers were standing outside their vehicles, a van, which is unrelated to the chase, veered onto the shoulder and rear-ended the Highway Patrol vehicle. The impact caused the van to spin around, striking the two officers.

The collision threw the officers down an embankment, along with the KHP car and van. The van came to a rest on its driver’s side, allowing the two people inside to escape through the passenger side.

Harwood, Olson and the two van occupants were taken to a nearby hospital for treatment of their injuries. The two van occupants are in stable condition. Olson was reportedly treated for his undisclosed injuries and released. Harwood is still hospitalized.

The two suspects from the chase were apprehended.

A full investigation is underway. It was not reported what caused the van to hit the KHP vehicle.

Legal News Reporter: Nicole Howley-Legal news for Kansas automobile accident attorneys.

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