CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- A Charlotte-Mecklenburg police officer was injured Tuesday afternoon in a two-vehicle wreck in southwest Charlotte.
The collision happened around 2:12 p.m. in the 10000 block of Steele Creek Road, near Brown Grier Road, about a half-mile from Interstate 485.
Officer Jim Guard, driving a marked CMPD patrol car, was traveling south on Steele Creek Road when he collided head-on with a black Jeep Liberty, and the police car landed in a ditch on the left side of the road. The accident was so violent that officer Guard was trapped in the wreckage and had to be cut out of his patrol car.
"We do know that the SUV and the police car that collided were both going the speed limit. The damage to both vehicles is pretty severe and our police officer is in very serious condition at this point - not life-threatening, we believe. The driver of the other vehicle is in pretty serious condition as well," said CMPD Deputy Chief Harold Medlock. He also said that the officer was on his way home at the time of the accident.
According to witnesses, as officer Guard passed Steele Oaks Drive, the Jeep Liberty crossed over the double yellow line and collided head-on with the CMPD squad car.
Both Officer Guard and the driver of the Jeep - who was the sole occupant of that vehicle - were seriously injured during the collision. The driver of the Jeep was transported by ambulance to Carolinas Medical Center and due to the severity of his injuries and the length of time it took to extricate him, officer Guard was transported to CMC by helicopter.
Officer Guard is a SWAT team member and has been with the CMPD since August 2, 1989.