FREMONT — The two officers injured when their patrol cars collided on Saturday night have been identified as Robert Schultz and Erik Kessler.
Officer Kessler remains hospitalized today at Mercy St. Vincent Medical Center in fair condition, a hospital spokesman said. Officer Schultz was taken to ProMedica Fremont Memorial Hospital where he was treated and released.
The two officers, who were driving separately, were injured when they crashed at Hickory and Wilson streets at 11:41 p.m. Saturday, Fremont police Chief Timothy Wiersma said.
At 11:38 p.m., a different Fremont officer attempted to stop a vehicle at Sycamore Street and North Wilson Avenue because it was “acting suspiciously” and did not stop for a stop sign, the chief said. When the officer turned on the patrol car‘s lights and sirens, the suspect vehicle — which had been reported stolen — sped off. The officers who crashed had not yet joined the pursuit, but Chief Wiersma said he believes they were positioning themselves to join the high-speed pursuit.
The chase was called off when the officers collided. Chief Wiersma said the officers each had their lights and sirens activated prior to the crash.
Sunday morning, at 2:35, officers found the stolen vehicle abandoned in the 800 block of White Avenue. The vehicle was not immediately searched; the chief said police and troopers are waiting on a search warrant. Officers do not know who was in the vehicle.
"I’m hoping for a quick recovery for the officers and their families to be able to cope with this and their police families,“ Chief Wiersma said.
The crash investigation is being handled by the Highway Patrol.