Omaha Police Officer, Motorist Injured In Crash

An Omaha Police officer and a driver were injured early Sunday morning when the officer's cruiser slammed into a Ford Focus that was stopped in the westbound lanes of I-80 between 72nd and 84th Streets.

The driver of the Focus, 27 year old Felipe Velasquez-Escobar, suffered a serious head injury but police say he is expected to recover.  Police say it appears he had been drinking prior to the crash.  

Officer Chris Mathis suffered two broken bones in his left hand. He was treated at the hospital and released.    Police say around 2 a.m. officers were in the area of 84th & I-80 looking for a wrong-way driver on the interstate that had been reported to 911.  Officers were uncertain which direction the wrong-way driver was traveling.

Officer Mathis was part of that effort to search for the vehicle.  Investigators say he was westbound on I-80, crested a hill at 72nd Street and collided with the Focus. Police say the Ford was parked in the second lane from the inside median with its left turn signal on.

I-80 westbound was shut down at 60th and 72nd streets until 6 a.m. The incident remains under investigation.


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