A 25-year-old Bakersfield man is in jail after being arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol.
Investigators say Christopher Neumann ran into a Bakersfield Police officer's patrol car on Golden State Highway Sunday night. Officer Rex Davenport and Neumann's passenger were injured.
Smashed cars, injuries, and a man in handcuffs give a glimpse of an epidemic. On Sunday night, Golden State Highway was the scene of two crashes. The first was a suspected hit and run. While Officer Davenport worked that call, he fell victim to an alleged drunk driver.
"The officer got out, looked like he was holding the back of his head," said witness Victor Gonzales.
Police say the driver that hit the officer, Christopher Neumann, failed a field sobriety test. His passenger, Kristin McGowen, suffered major injuries.
Neumann's Facebook page paints a picture of a carefree life. Colorful photos show him during good times. On December 11th, a Facebook friend says 'Are you drunk?' He replies "No, I'm high.'
And, Neumann recently posted, "I walked to get inside my car and go to the Mint, and my car is already there without me. I got pretty awesome last night and totally forgot I left it there."
Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) advocate Carla Pearson says this kind of crash happens every 45 minutes on our nation's highways.
"Unfortunately, he's (the officer) out trying o keep the streets safe and an alleged drunk driver comes barreling down the road and hits him," she said.
Pearson lost her son in 2002 to a drunk driver. "You are never the same after that, especially if there's a fatality that comes out of it."
For Officer Davenport, life and work became a surreal coincidence. He's a 39-year-old 'A Life Interrupted' presenter. The program teaches young people about drunk driving dangers. It's a passion that's close to his heart. The officer lost a brother in an alcohol-related crash.
"I hope that no one is severely hurt at the end of the day, and I hope he gets it," said Pearson.
We did request an interview with Neumann, but he declined.
McGowen was treated and released from the hospital.
Officer Davenport needed stitches in his head. He has not been released back to full duty.