A Tempe motorcycle officer was injured in a hit-and-run collision Monday while responding to an emergency call.
Police are looking for the driver after the suspect switched lanes and crashed into the officer before fleeing the area near Southern Avenue and Price Road, said Tempe police spokesman Sgt. Mike Horn.
Officer Wes Parrell was driving north on Price about 6 p.m. with his lights and sirens on when he was knocked off his bike, Horn said.
Parrell landed hard on the pavement, but luckily suffered only bumps, bruises and abrasions, Horn said. He was taken to a local hospital and is expected to be fine.
Horn said the other driver took off and police are searching for the person. The car is a charcoal-gray Toyota Camry or similar-looking passenger car with damage to its front driver’s side, Horn said.
“One would think that this person would know that they struck somebody,” Horn said. “They had an obligation to stop, but they didn't.”
He asked anyone who might have seen the car or the crash to call Tempe police at (480) 350-8311.
Traffic was being diverted from the area for a couple hours while police investigated the scene.
The crash happened only about two miles from Apache Boulevard and Price Road, where Tempe officer Kevin Weeks and Gilbert officer Rob Targosz died last year while riding motorcycles in separate incidents.
“When this type of call comes out, your heart starts to race,” Horn said of Monday’s crash. “You're focusing all of your thoughts and prayers that the officer is OK.”