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CHP officer seriously injured in Tehama County crash
A California Highway Patrol officer injured in an on-duty collision Thursday night is expected to recover.
Officer David Madrigal, 45, may have to undergo surgery, but he is expected to recover from what were described as major injuries, said CHP Officer Jake Bushy.
"It is unknown whether he will be able to return to duty," Bushy said.
The collision occurred around 6:40 p.m., as the 22-year veteran was traveling south on Highway 99E near Eldrid Avenue in Dairyville.
"He received a call to assist the Tehama County Sheriff's Department in the pursuit of a stolen vehicle," said CHP Sgt. Jeff Ross.
With emergency lights engaged, Madrigal pulled to the shoulder of the southbound lane and was in the process of making a U-turn when he was struck broadside by a southbound 1994 Jeep Cherokee driven by Sean Stutsman, 22, of Chico, the CHP reported.
The patrol vehicle came to rest near a power pole, facing east on the northbound shoulder.
Madrigal remained conscious and advised CHP dispatch of the collision and his need for assistance.
Several residents in the area called 911 to report the collision as well, the CHP said.
Emergency personnel and law enforcement agencies arrived on scene and assisted in extricating the injured officer from the marked 2005 Ford Crown Victoria.
"The officer was in a great amount of pain," Ross said on Thursday following the crash.
He was airlifted to Mercy Medical Center in Redding.
Stutsman and a passenger in the Jeep did not appear to have suffered any serious injury and indicated they would seek their own medical care if needed, Ross said.
The CHP Multi-disciplinary Accident Investigation Team out of the Northern Division Redding Office was on scene to investigate the crash.
Both lanes of the highway were closed for five hours and traffic was diverted.
This isn't the first time Madrigal has received life-threatening injuries while on duty.
In 2008, he was shot in the leg during a shootout between law enforcement and James Long in Proberta.
Long was fatally wounded during the exchange of gunfire.
Following surgery and a lengthy recovery, Madrigal returned to duty.
He has worked out of the CHP Red Bluff office for more than six years.
Another CHP officer suffered major injuries in a similar on-duty crash in 2006, also on Highway 99E.
In that incidentm Officer James Malner was in the process of making a U-turn in pursuit of a speeding motorist when he was struck broadside on the driver's side of his patrol unit.
Malner returned to full duty and has since been promoted to sergeant. He is working in th CHP Cottonwood Inspection Facility.