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VENTURA COUNTY NEWS

Vehicle Runs Red Light, Injures Oxnard Officer

September 17, 1998|HOLLY J. WOLCOTT

OXNARD — An Oxnard police officer was injured when her patrol car was broadsided Wednesday morning by a vehicle that ran a red light at Ventura Road and 5th Street, authorities said.

Officer Maria Pena, 26, suffered a minor knee injury in the 9:30 a.m. crash, according to Officer John Cabral. She was able to return to duty and finish her shift, a sergeant said Wednesday night.

Pena was heading to a call for service and driving west on 5th Street at about 20 mph when she was struck in the intersection by a vehicle traveling south on Ventura Road, Cabral said.

The driver, James Burge, took his eyes off the road to extinguish a cigarette and ran the red light, Cabral said. Burge, who is based at the Construction Battalion Center in Port Hueneme, struck the patrol car on the passenger side.

The impact caused moderate damage to the front and rear passenger doors to the patrol car and major front-end damage to Burge's vehicle. Burge was not injured and the crash remains under investigation.

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