Officer struck by vehicle near Sutherlin

Officer struck by vehicle near Sutherlin »Play Video
An accident Monday morning near the Sutherlin city limits on Old Highway 99 sent a police officer to the hospital.

Police say 36-year-old Rich Hopkins was removing metal debris from the roadway on Old Highway 99 near the 135 freeway interchange at the south entrance to Sutherlin, when he was sideswiped by a car heading southbound.

Hopkins, who is an 11-year veteran of the Sutherlin Police Department, called for help on his portable radio and was found on the ground with a badly broken left leg and ankle, and a broken right heel.

Oregon State Police Sergeant Steve Mitchell says a passerby was helping Hopkins remove the debris when the accident happened.

"The items were in the southbound travel lane where the I-5 interchange comes onto Highway 99. They were out there attempting to remove two other objects, when a passenger car southbound on Highway 99 actually sideswiped Officer Hopkins."

The driver of the 1999 Volvo sedan, 43-year-old Mikayla Baird of Sutherlin was not injured.

Police estimated she was going 50 to 55 miles an hour when the accident happened, just before 6:00 a.m. Monday morning.

Mitchell says they have not issued any citations, but they are continuing the investigation.

"It's merely a crash investigation that we have to look into, and once the crash investigation is completed it will be handed over to the Douglas County DA's office for further review."

Hopkins was taken to Mercy Medical Center with some serious fractures.

They're not sure where the metal came from, but they are checking with some local companies to see if they had trucks go through that area Sunday night or early Monday morning.