(WJLA) - A Prince George's County Police officer is seriously injured after a minivan crashed into him during a traffic stop in Forestville this morning. Two other officers barely escaped injury, but then turned around to help lift a vehicle off their injured colleague.
The injured officer has been identified as 26-year-old Bashua Olaseha. Police say he remains in serious condition at Prince George’s Hospital Center after he was trapped under a minivan for several minutes before he was finally freed.
Hundreds of officers later came out to show their support for one of their own.
“We want to thank the community for all their thoughts and prayers,” said Chief Mark Magaw with PGPD.
Police say the driver seen being loaded into an ambulance was behind the wheel of this minivan when he plowed into three patrol cars parked on the shoulder of the road. Two officers managed to jump out of the way, while the third dove into a ditch – where the minivan landed on top of him.
“The ground was wet…you can see the indentation of his body, the ground gave enough to where there wasn't a critical accident or fatal accident,” explained Chief Magaw. He adds that the woman who was initially pulled over near Pennsylvania Avenue and Walters Lane even jumped out to try to help.
“It's been a harrowing morning for us, but this officer is going to survive this incident,” he said.
The Police Chief and the President of the Fraternal Order of Police both say they've had a tremendous amount of support from the community and from people all across the country. It's an issue that hits close to the heart for many at the police department, since two officers have died in the line of duty in the last four years.
“This is a very sensitive issue for us, and by grace of God we didn't have to repeat that today,” said Chief Magaw.
It is still unclear exactly why the driver veered off the road, but police say charges have not been filed at this point while they continue their investigation. Police say Olaseha is an Iraqi war veteran who has been with the department for about a year-and-a-half.