A woman driving a sport utility vehicle ran a red light near downtown Modesto on Friday afternoon and crashed into a police car as the officer was taking a woman to jail, a police spokesman said.
The woman riding in the back seat of the patrol car suffered cuts on her head and face from the car window's broken glass, said Modesto police Sgt. Brian Findlen.
She was taken by ambulance to Doctors Medical Center in Modesto for treatment of minor injuries. Her name was not available. She is expected to be cited and released once she leaves the hospital.
Modesto police officer Mark Weiglein, who was driving the patrol car, felt pain and was being examined by a doctor, Findlen said. Weiglein was not hospitalized.
Findlen said department patrol cars are equipped with seat belts for officers and prisoners. He said Weiglein and the woman in the patrol car were wearing seat belts.
No other injuries were reported.
The crash occurred about 1:30 p.m. at Seventh and I streets. The officer was heading south on Seventh Street in a Police Interceptor model of a Ford Crown Victoria sedan.
Findlen said the officer was heading to the Public Safety Center to book the woman on suspicion of driving under the influence.
Penny Aldrete of Ceres was driving a 1997 black Ford Explorer east on I Street in the left lane, and had a passenger.
Witnesses told police Aldrete failed to stop for a red light and the SUV struck the passenger side of the patrol car, Findlen said.
Aldrete was not arrested or cited at the scene, and the department's Traffic Unit is investigating the crash.
The accident was the second involving a Modesto police car this week and the third in January. On Jan. 11, the first car in a line of police vehicles responding to a call collided with a sport utility vehicle on Scenic Drive.
On Tuesday, a Modesto man hit a police car in the intersection of Oakdale Road and Sylvan Avenue and tried to flee the scene. The driver was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence.
Bee staff writer Rosalio Ahumada can be reached at email@example.com or 578-2394.