An Omaha police officer investigating a home invasion call was sitting in his cruiser at 42nd and Sprague at 3:40 Friday morning when it was hit by a white 1998 Chevy Blazer. That SUV fled the scene. Omaha Police Officer Phillip Hodges suffered minor injures.
Two officers spotted the SUV at 41st and Pratt. The driver refused to stop but lost control at 33rd and Pratt and hit a pole, another vehicle and rolled. The driver, 20 year old Leonardo Saavedra was thrown from the SUV and suffered severe injures. He was rushed to a hospital in critical condition. A passenger, 31 year old Luis Lara-Martinez was also taken to a hospital where he was treated and released. The driver of the vehicle hit was not injured.
Police suspect Saavedra had been drinking. Criminal charges are pending.
The two officers chasing Saavedra, Officer John Gruidel and Officer Dawn Orent, are currently on paid administrative. Omaha Police Department policy shows as a result of actions by a police officer any person receives life threatening bodily injury, the officer is placed on administrative leave pending investigations.