A Mesa police officer is in the hospital following a collision along a Valley freeway.
About 10:50 a.m. Tuesday, Aug. 11, Officer Sean Stoddard was traveling eastbound on U.S. 60 near the Greenfield Road overpass when he encountered a ladder blocking the roadway.
The Arizona Department of Public Safety, which is investigating the incident, said the officer activated the emergency lights of his patrol car and stopped to prevent traffic from striking the ladder. Before the officer could exit his vehicle, an SUV rear-ended the patrol car, DPS said.
The collision caused the patrol vehicle to rotate and travel across three lanes of traffic into the right emergency lane. The SUV rolled onto its left side, partially blocking the middle lanes.
The driver of the SUV was transported to a local hospital for her injuries, DPS said.
The Mesa police officer sustained critical injuries and was transported to a local hospital, DPS said.
DPS is asking the public to report any information that will help investigators identify the vehicle and driver that dropped the ladder onto the roadway.
Investigators are working to determine whether impairment, distraction and/or fatigue were contributing factors in the collision.
Mesa police said Mr. Stoddard has been with the department for 13 years, is still serving in the U.S. Armed Forces and has been known for helping veterans through his nonprofit Archangels.
"Sean is currently in critical condition at the hospital, and we are hopeful he will continue to make positive strides toward recovery as he is attended to by family, friends and the best medical professionals," Mesa police stated in a release. "We are grateful for our community’s support at this time and we wish Sean a speedy recovery."