Suspect's vehicle (photo: Detroit Police)

Police Officer Critically Injured In Hit-And-Run; 19-Year-Old Turns Self In

August 04, 2018 - 1:24 am

DETROIT (WWJ) - A 19-year-old is facing charges and a Detroit police officer is fighting for his life following an early morning hit-and-run crash.

The accident occurred around 3 a.m. Saturday as the officer was dispersing a crowd after a party near McNichols Road and Stahelin Avenue, just west of the Southfield Freeway on the city's west side.

Officer Dan Donakowski said the 30-year-old officer was walking back to his patrol car when he was struck from behind. 

"They were there for a large crowd that was exiting a cabaret," Donakowski told WWJ's Michael Cohen. "After a period time, the officers determined the majority of the crowd had left the area so they started going toward their scout car. That is when the unidentified driver of a dark-colored SUV, which was traveling eastbound on McNichols, struck the officer and kept going."

The officer, who has been on the force for about a year, suffered head trauma in the crash and was rushed to the hospital. He was last reported in critical condition with a brain injury. 

Several police agencies spent the morning searching for the suspect. Just before 1:30 p.m., police said a 19-year-old Belleville man was taken in custody after turning himself in. Detectives are now interviewing the suspect, who was said to be speeding -- around 60 miles per hour -- at the time of the collision. 

The crash remains under investigation.

The officer's name has not yet been released. 

Anyone with information is asked to contact police at 313-267-4600. Tips can also be submitted anonymously to Crime Stoppers at 1-800-SPEAK-UP.