HAWTHORNE (CBSLA.com) — A woman was ejected from her vehicle early Wednesday morning after it collided with a Hawthorne police cruiser, officials said.

The accident happened around 2 a.m. in the 3700 block of El Segundo Boulevard, Hawthorne police said.

The California Highway Patrol said the cruiser was traveling eastbound on El Segundo Boulevard when it collided with a sedan traveling northbound out of an alley on Doty Avenue.

Witness Jodi Jack told CBS2 that he heard “a loud screeching and then a huge bang. So I believe it had to be the car impacting into the tree.”

When first responders arrived on scene, they found 34-year-old Karina Preza on the street and worked to resuscitate her.

The wife and mother of three was transported to Harbor-UCLA Medical Center for surgery where she was later hospitalized in critical condition, police said.

The officer, who is a sergeant with the Hawthorne Police Department, was on his way to a call at the time of the accident. He was transported to UCLA in Westwood with minor injuries.

“The speed, lights and sirens, are unknown as this time,” CHP Officer Robert Manzano said. “It’s an ongoing investigation.”

Authorities did not say which driver was at fault or if Preza was wearing a seat belt.


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