Mesa Police say officer hurt in US 60 crash is a 13-year veteran of the department

It was a terrifying crash scene on US 60 eastbound of Greenfield Road after the driver of a black Cadillac SUV rear ended a fully marked Mesa Police cruiser.

"That impact caused the SUV to roll and it forced that police department officer's car all the way on the right shoulder. There is severe damage to both vehicles," said Sgt. Kameron Lee of the Department of Public Safety.

Officer Sean Stoddard was identified as the officer who was injured in the crash. He is a 13-year veteran of the department and is also a military veteran.

As of Aug. 12, the department says he's in critical condition.

Officer Sean Stoddard (Photo Courtesy: Maricopa County Attorney's Office)

SkyFOX and crews on the ground showed the severity of the collision. The SUV was on its side and the cruiser was crushed after it was pushed to the right shoulder of the highway.

"He had to be extracted from his car, meaning they had to cut the door off to get him out. He was in and out of consciousness," said Lee.

Just before 11 a.m. on Aug. 11, the Department of Public Safety received a call about a ladder in the center lane of US 60 eastbound near Higley. Stoddard came across the debris before the troopers.

"He stopped in the travel lane to get that debris out of the road," said Lee. "While he was stopped, still in his vehicle, a black SUV, a Cadillac Escalade, rear-ended that officer's patrol car."

The crash left Stoddard in critical condition. The woman who was driving the SUV is in serious condition.

"Because of the severity of the injuries.. and because he was an on-duty officer that was severely hurt, we will treat this as the most serious nature as it is," said Lee.

There's no word yet if Stoddard had his police lights on before the crash.

DPS is taking over the investigation.

An Aug. 12 statement from the Mesa Police Department reads:

"We are hopeful he will continue to make positive strides toward recovery as he is attended to by family, friends and the best medical professionals. We are grateful for our community’s support at this time and we wish Sean a speedy recovery."