April 09--A CHP officer was thrown 20 feet down a San Jose highway and broke his leg Friday morning when an alleged drunken driver traveling 65 mph smacked into a pickup truck the officer was trying to dislodge from the mud, authorities said.
California Highway Patrol Officer Steve Griefer said 20-year-old Stevone Jones of San Jose was later arrested on a felony charge of driving under the influence.
The injured officer, Skyler Tesch, 31, underwent surgery on his right leg Friday afternoon and also suffered a cut to his head in the collision. The Lodi resident has been on the force for two and a half years.
Tesch and his partner, Officer Mathew Figone, arrived at the Bascom Avenue offramp on northbound Interstate 880 around 1:50 a.m., Griefer said.
They were trying to help San Jose resident Jovany Hernandez, 27, the driver of a Chevrolet pickup truck that had spun out and become stuck in the mud, partially blocking the far-right lane.
Tesch and Figone parked the patrol car, with its lights flashing, behind the pickup and set up road flares to block the right lane of traffic.
Tesch began trying to dislodge the truck's bumper from its left-front tire.
Suddenly, a 1990 Lexus driven by Jones in the lane to the left of the truck veered right and crossed over the flares -- careening into the pickup truck at a speed of 65 mph, police said. The truck then smashed into the officer's leg, and he was thrown 20 feet away and landed in
An ambulance took Tesch to Santa Clara Valley Medical Center, and Jones was arrested.
Officers closed the northbound half of the freeway to investigate for about two hours and re-opened all lanes in time for the morning commute.
No one else was injured, including Jones and Hernandez, who were both wearing their seat belts at the time of the crash.
Jail records indicate that Jones was in custody Friday morning on $25,000 bail.
Contact Lisa Fernandez at 408-920-5002.