The police chief of Milwaukee said a South Side crash that injured two police officers, one of them seriously, could have easily been fatal. The civilian driver is suspected of driving while intoxicated when he skipped through a red light at high speed and smashed into the marked police cruiser.

The most seriously injured Milwaukee police officer is a 34-year-old woman, who was the passenger in the patrol car at the time. She is recovering at Froedtert Hospital with a broken pelvis and, according to police officials, may require surgery. The other officer, a 37-year-old patrolman, was also hurt, but sustained only minor injuries in the car accident.

Police reports say the suspected OWI accident happened on a late Monday night at S. 27th St at W. Parnell Ave. The officers were travelling through the intersection on a green light when a 52-year-old previously convicted drunk driver pulled into of the marked patrol car.

The suspect was charged with suspicion of drunken driving. He had been convicted of drunk driving five times in one year in Racine County previously, and he has served three years in jail on OWI accident convictions.

Statistics say that last year, 20 police officers were killed in the U.S. by drunk drivers. The Milwaukee Police Chief reported that more people in Wisconsin died in drunk driving accidents than were murdered last year.

The seriously injured police officer faces a long road to recovery, all because one person made the horrible decision to drive after drinking. Police officers and Wisconsin legislators are hoping that some good will come from this DUI accident. They are hoping to pass tougher drunk driving laws to hold people accountable in situations like this.

Source: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, “2 officers injured in crash with man with drunk driving history,” Gitte Laasby, 18 May 2011