Prognosis good for officer after head-on collision

A police officer remained in stable condition Sunday after his squad car collided head-on with a SamTrans bus two days earlier.

Officer Kevin Thorpe, a seven-year veteran of the force, was on regular patrol at approximately noon Friday on El Camino Real when he swerved to avoid a truck making a left turn on Forest View Avenue. He missed the truck but struck a bus heading north on El Camino head-on.

A nurse at San Francisco General Hospital, where Thorpe was rushed following the collision, said Sunday that the officer had not been discharged yet but could not give further details on his condition.

Several passengers, who were also taken to S.F. General, suffered minor injuries.

Police Chief Jack Van Etten said Thorpe sustained some internal injuries, lacerations and head trauma, but his prognosis was good.

“After the accident, I went up to see him on what I thought was going to be one of the worst Fridays of my police career,” Van Etten said. “But it actually turned out to be one of the best Fridays of my police career after I found out how he was doing.”

Van Etten estimated Thorpe could be on disability anywhere from a couple of weeks to a couple of months. Finance officials have given the OK for the department to hire a new police officer in the upcoming fiscal year, a position that may become even more important to fill if Thorpe remains out of commission for longer than expected.

Officials at the California Highway Patrol, which is conducting the investigation because the collision involved an on-duty police car, did not return phone calls seeking comment. Van Etten said the investigation should be completed in a few days.

tramroop@examiner.com

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