Driver in critical condition after gold coast crash Copyright by WCMH - All rights reserved Video
COLUMBUS (WCMH) -- A Columbus gold Coast police officer was in critical condition after crash, Columbus Fire and EMS say.
About 5:45 p.m. Thursday a black Chevrolet Malibu was heading west on South Main Street, heading to a nearby gas station.
Copyright by WCMH - All rights reserved Video
It's reported that someone in a white Chevrolet Malibu was behind the wheel of the vehicle when it crashed into a tree and caught fire.
The driver of the car was ejected.
According to Columbus police, it's unclear how many lives could have been saved if the officer had gotten out of the vehicle that hit the tree.
"This accident is devastating to many, but it doesn't affect our efforts on the front line," Columbus Police Chief Matthew Matz said in a statement.
He said the officer did all that he could to protect the public and put himself in jeopardy, but "I feel bad that some of the other officers would have done the same thing."
Matz said the officer's injuries include a skull fracture, severe head trauma and blunt force trauma to his head.
He remains in critical condition.
The other passenger in the vehicle that was involved in the crash remains hospitalized.
Cleveland County Coroner Rusty Payne said the deceased may have been wearing protective equipment.