A Berkeley traffic officer sustained serious injuries when a driver hit him, authorities report. Credit: Citizen reporter

A driver who failed to stop for a Berkeley traffic officer’s lights and sirens ran into him Saturday, causing serious injuries, according to preliminary reports.

The crash happened Saturday at about 1:20 p.m. on Sacramento Street and Dwight Way, authorities said.

Just before the collision, two BPD traffic officers on motorcycles were southbound on Sacramento with their lights and sirens on as they responded to a report of an injury collision in South Berkeley, authorities said.

Most of the drivers in the area stopped to let the officers pass, but a northbound motorist on Sacramento Street turned left onto Dwight, striking one of the officers and causing serious injuries. The officer was taken to Highland Hospital, the regional trauma center, for treatment.

The driver was a teenage girl, under 18, with out-of-state license plates, according to preliminary information.

A witness to the crash told Berkeleyside some drivers got out of their vehicles in the immediate aftermath to provide assistance. A nurse practitioner who happened to be eating nearby at Homemade Cafe was able to help the injured officer while they waited for an ambulance to arrive. Other people directed traffic away from the intersection so emergency responders could reach the scene.

The witness heard the officer tell the nurse practitioner that his leg was broken: “He seemed to know that. She along with a couple other bystanders kept him calm while the other motorcycle officer who was with him at the time radioed for help,” the witness said. “It was horrible to see someone hit that directly, especially when everyone else stopped for the sirens.”

Police do not believe impairment was a factor in the crash, which is being handled by the California Highway Patrol as per BPD policy for collisions that involve its officers.

The driver was cooperative and remained at the scene, authorities said.

After publication, the California Highway Patrol told Berkeleyside it would be able to provide information in the coming week.

This story was updated after publication to include the witness statements and comment from the CHP.

Emilie Raguso (former senior editor, news) joined Berkeleyside in 2012 and covered politics, public safety and development until her departure in 2022. In 2017, Emilie was named Journalist of the Year...