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Officer Who Aided Driver Still Critical

Accidents: Officials say Bruce Hunt of the LAPD was pinned between two vehicles after he stopped to help a motorist, who was later arrested.


A Los Angeles police officer remained hospitalized in critical condition late Monday from injuries suffered in a multiple-car crash over the weekend in Santa Clarita, authorities said.

Officer Bruce Hunt, 40, was off duty Saturday night when he stopped on the Antelope Valley Freeway to help crash victims and was pinned between two vehicles in a subsequent accident.

Hunt suffered a broken pelvis, fractured clavicle, collapsed lungs, two fractured femurs and internal bleeding, police said.

The 14-year LAPD veteran is married and has a 7-month-old son, friends said.

Hunt was taken to Providence Holy Cross Medical Center in Mission Hills after the accident.

He was described Monday as an extraordinary officer and humanitarian by friends and fellow officers.

Officer Jack Richter, a Los Angeles Police Department spokesman, said it came as no surprise that Hunt stopped to help someone.

"He saw that somebody needed help. It didn't matter that he was off duty," Richter said. "That's something that he would do."

Hunt was among several officers who received the Medal of Valor, the department's highest award for bravery, for actions during a confrontation with a violent suspect holed up in a warehouse in Canoga Park in May 1997.

Lt. Michael Albanese said Hunt has been involved in several high-risk operations as a member of the SWAT team.

Hunt also has volunteered for children's charities by running marathons--even helping push a child in a wheelchair in one of them, Albanese said.

The freeway accident occurred about 11:30 p.m. Saturday near San Fernando Road, according to the California Highway Patrol.

Timothy Losee, 43, of Santa Clarita lost control of his 1993 Lincoln Continental and swerved into the concrete center divider on the northbound side of the Antelope Valley Freeway, CHP Officer Jeff Perez said.

Hunt and his partner, Eduardo Perez, 32, stopped their patrol car on the right shoulder to try to help Losee and a passenger, Ellen Ishima, 46, of Redondo Beach.

As Hunt and Perez were administering first aid, the drivers of a 1995 Mitsubishi Eclipse and a 1997 Chrysler Concorde slowed down as they came upon the accident, police said.

But, police said, another motorist, Jackie West, 34, of Tehachapi, failed to notice the slowing traffic. His 1992 Isuzu Trooper sideswiped the Concorde and then hit the Eclipse, sending that vehicle out of control. The Eclipse struck the patrol car, and the Isuzu pinned Hunt against Losee's car.

Losee, 43, was treated at Providence Holy Cross Medical Center for neck and back pain and released, police said. His passenger, Ishima, was treated for a broken clavicle at Henry Mayo Newhall Memorial Hospital and released.

Losee was arrested on suspicion of felony drunk driving.

Authorities said an investigation into the chain-reaction accident was continuing.

No one besides Hunt suffered a life-threatening injury, police said.

Janine McMillion, a friend of the Hunt family, said relatives and friends were comforting his wife, Kathy, and helping to care for his son, Steven.

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