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Suspected DUI Driver Allegedly Slams Into CHP Cruiser In La Verne

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LA VERNE (CBSLA.com) — Two California Highway Patrol officers Saturday were recovering from minor injuries after their cruiser was struck allegedly by a suspected drunken driver in La Verne.

The crash happened in a construction zone on the Foothill (210) Freeway near Foothill Boulevard.

Two CHP officers were seated in the cruiser in a coned off area in the westbound lanes of the thoroughfare at the time of the crash.

That’s when police say the driver of a Mercedes Benz lost control, rear-ending the patrol car and crashing down an embankment. Both vehicles sustained significant damage.

The accident took place just after 1 a.m.

CHP Officer Patrick Kimball told KNX 1070’s Ed Mertz that paramedics transported three people to an area hospital. The officers reportedly sustained minor injuries are expected to be okay.

The driver of the Benz was identified by authorities as 25-year-old Thomas Lapatka Jr. of La Verne.

Authorities described Lapatka’s injuries as “moderate.” He has since been released from the hospital and booked at the San Dimas Sheriff’s Jail Facility on suspicion of felony DUI.

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