By Associated Press - Friday, January 8, 2021

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) - An Omaha police officer trying to control traffic was seriously injured after being hit by a car, police said, and the driver of the car was arrested on suspicion of driving while drunk.

The crash happened Thursday night as Officer Michael Salseda was stopped along the Kennedy Freeway to place flares on the road to direct traffic around an earlier crash, Omaha police said in a news release.

Salseda was outside his cruiser, which had its emergency lights activated, and was wearing a high-visibility traffic vest when he was hit, police said.

Christopher Guy, 29, of Bellevue, told investigators he was unable to stop in time to avoid the cruiser and could not switch to the lane right of him because other cars were there, police said. Guy instead swerved onto the left shoulder, where he hit Salseda, investigators said.

Officers on the scene said Guy showed signs of being impaired, and he was taken to police headquarters, where tests showed his blood alcohol content at .305 - nearly four times the legal limit to drive.

Salseda was hospitalized with serious injuries but is expected to survive, police said.

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