Drunk driver runs into police car

CL OFFICER HIT

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CLEAR LAKE, IA-It is a dangerous job, but police officers never want to be the reason for an emergency call.
However, last night – a north Iowa officer had no choice, but to call for help.
That Clear Lake man is recovering after the incident involving a drunk driver early this morning.
Typically it’s the police that are finding the drunk drivers, but in this situation, it was the drunk driver that found the police.

It was around two o’clock in the morning, and Lieutenant Paul Chizek was conducting his typical patrols around Clear Lake.

“As he was driving at speeds of 40-50 miles per hour he was struck by in the rear of his squad car by another vehicle,” said Clear Lake Police Chief Greg Peterson.

Chief Peterson says when he first got the call about the accident on Highway 18, his concern was focused on his officer.

“I know he was very sore, later when I was talking to him, he said that when he was struck, it just literally took the wind out of him and he had a hard time getting on the radio and calling for assistance,” said Chief Peterson.

Lt. Chizek suffered a cut on the back of his neck – but he is expected to make a full recovery.

Chief Peterson says Steven and Ryan Orta were both in the truck that hit the cop car.

Steven is being charged with his second OWI, driving without a licence and following too close.

Chief Peterson says his brother Ryan tried to walk away from the accident and was charged with public intoxication.

He says this is a very real example of why it’s so dangerous to drink and drive.

“There are people out there driving intoxicated, there are people out there texting on their phone, people out there doing a variety of things other than paying attention to the road and it doesn’t matter who’s fault it is if one of these people strike you and your injured or killed,” said Chief Peterson.

Chief Peterson said the Cerro Gordo County Sheriff’s Office took over the case because a Clear Lake officer was involved.

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