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Cop goes down in crash

Freeway accident sends motorcycle officer to hospital

Posted: December 27, 2008 9:00 p.m.
Updated: December 28, 2008 4:55 a.m.

Two Los Angeles Police Department officers and two California Highway Patrol officers look at the motorcycle belonging to LAPD officer Sheldon Williams, who collided with multiple vehicles on his way to work.

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An ambulance transported Los Angeles Police Department officer Sheldon Williams to Henry Mayo Newhall Memorial Hospital after he collided with multiple vehicles on his motorcycle along Highway 14 just north of San Fernando Road Saturday afternoon.

California Highway Patrol Sgt. Rick Miler said the officer was on his way to work, riding between traffic, which was backed up from a previous accident farther down the highway.

Miler said it is not yet known how Williams crashed, but somehow he collided with one vehicle, which caused him to lose control of his motorcycle and hit three other vehicles as he fell to the asphalt.

One officer speculated that a driver pulling out of the carpool lane hit Williams, but Miler said the accident is under investigation.

"Believe it or not, we don't have anyone who witnessed (the collision) who stayed," Miler said.

The accident caused southbound traffic on Highway 14 to backup for miles as units from the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff's Station, California Highway Patrol, Los Angeles County Fire and Los Angeles Police Department responded to the collision.

On the freeway, the officer's motorcycle laid on its side between two of the damaged cars. One of those vehicles belonged to Jackie Sneed of Lancaster, who was on her way to Los Angeles when she heard the motorcycle bump into her truck.

"I was just driving and sitting still because traffic was stopped," she said. "I heard something hit my truck.
I got out and he (the officer) was lying on the ground. He was talking so he was conscious. They told him just to lie there and don't move."

Sneed said her Chevrolet Avalanche had minor damages.

"But the truck is not that important when it comes to his (the officer's) life," she said. "His safety is more important - the truck can be fixed."

Sandra Retana of Los Angeles was another driver whose car was hit.

"I just heard a loud noise and looked out my mirror and saw the motorcycle flying," she said. "He wasn't on it when it hit my car."

Williams suffered deep lacerations to his foot, Miler said.

"He'll be fine," he said.

No one involved was taken into custody, Miler said.

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