SUNVALLEY (CNS) - A veteran Los Angeles police officer critically injured when his motorcycle was struck from behind in Sun Valley by an SUV driven by a suspected drugged driver was in surgery this afternoon.

The officer, whose name has not been made public, was hurt about 5:35 p.m. Saturday at Lankershim Boulevard and Saticoy Street, police said.

Officer Sara Faden of Media Relations said the officer was in surgery at 4:39 p.m.

A blood drive to replenish supplies used by the officer will be held for a second day, she said. The drive will be held from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the LAPD's Mission Station, 11121 Sepulveda Blvd. in Mission Hills.

According to ProvidenceHolyCrossMedicalCenter, 100 units of blood were collected at a blood drive today.

The officer assigned to the Valley Traffic Division was stopped at a red light behind a Honda Accord on southbound Lankershim, when a Chevrolet Blazer plowed into his motorcycle, crushing him between the two vehicles, police said.

The Blazer's driver, Qaneak Cobb, 33, of Pacoima, was arrested on suspicion of felony driving under the influence of drugs and booked at the Van Nuys jail, with bail set at $185,000, police said. She remained in custody today.  

Speaking outside Providence Holy Cross, Capt. Maureen Ryan of the Valley Traffic Division said she was and the injured officer were partners 25 years ago.  

“He's a wonderful, wonderful man, a loving father and he is loved by all of us. He's an extremely hard worker. He is somebody that we depend on daily,” Ryan said.  

Another Valley Traffic Division colleague, Sgt. Kurt Smith, said he had known the injured officer for 17 or 18 years and described him as a “good guy to be around.”  

“Sometimes you don't have to be doing anything wrong,” Smith said, his voice choked with emotion. “You can take all the safety precautions you want and somebody else does something and you may pay the price for it.”

 

On March 7, Los Angeles police Officer Nicholas Choung Lee, 40, was killed when an out-of-control truck on steep Loma Vista Drive struck his patrol car head-on.