A Seal Beach Police Department officer is recovering after a suspected drunk driver slammed into his vehicle Saturday, officials said.

The officer was standing near his parked patrol car while conducting a traffic stop in the area of Pacific Coast Highway and Mariner Drive about 3:15 p.m., the Seal Beach Police Department said.

Damage is seen on a Seal Beach Police Department patrol car following a collision with a suspected drunk driver on Oct. 10, 2020.
Damage is seen on a Seal Beach Police Department patrol car following a collision with a suspected drunk driver on Oct. 10, 2020.

A Ford F-150 traveling southbound on PCH then suddenly slammed into the patrol car, knocking the officer down to the ground, police said.

A passing Seal Beach police volunteer who witnessed the collision radioed for help and immediately began to render aid to the officer.

The officer sustained moderate injuries and was taken to a hospital, police said.

After the collision, the Ford driver lost control and crashed into a nearby wall, at which point the driver fled the scene on foot, according to the department.

The driver, later identified as 30-year-old Huntington Beach man Kenneth Jacob Lopez, was found uninjured a short distance away and arrested on suspicion of felony hit-and-run and driving under the influence.

California Highway Patrol responded and took over the investigation, which remains ongoing. No further details were available.

Anyone with information is asked to call CHP Officer J. Billington at 714-892-4426.

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By Kelley Wheeler

Kelley Wheeler is a Metro reporter covering political issues and general assignments. A second-generation journalist, worked with all major news outlet, she holds a vast expeirience. Kelley is a graduate of USC with degrees in journalism and English literature. She is a recipient of Yale’s Poynter Fellowship in Journalism.

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