The northbound 405 at National Boulevard in West Los Angeles was reopened Wednesday afternoon following a collision that critically injured a California Highway Patrol officer. The lanes were reopened at 4:45 p.m., authorities said. The freeway was closed in both directions for two hours following the 8:45 a.m. accident in which a driver allegedly trying to bypass traffic by driving on the right shoulder ran into the officer, who was writing a ticket. Lanes were later opened but part of the northbound 405 was off limits for much of the day as the collision was investigated, creating a parking lot on the freeway and on nearby surface streets.
CHP Officer Phillip Ortiz was taken to Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center. His family issued this statement through UCLA:
"The family of Officer Ortiz wants the public to know how much they appreciate the community's continued support in the way of prayers and well wishes at this most difficult time."
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Three other motorists were injured when the vehicle ran into the officer, his motorcycle and the stopped SUV on the northbound shoulder of the 405. The bike was crushed and the SUV was flipped.
The driver was questioned and released, but the investigation could still lead to charges being recommended, a CHP spokesman said.
Fox 11 News reporter Gigi Graciette suggested via Twitter that all law enforcement traffic stops be taken off freeways. "I would humbly suggest all fwy stops be taken OFF the fwy," she tweeted.
-With reporting from City News Service. Got news? Email us.