A volunteer Lodi Police Partner and a 21-year-old mother remain hospitalized after they were involved in a collision Monday morning.
Both women are expected to stay in hospitals for another day or two for observation, according to police and family. Meanwhile, another Partner and a 2-year-old boy are no longer hospitalized.
Since the volunteer Partners formed 17 years ago, Monday's crash was the second one involving injuries, according to police officials.
The 10:04 a.m. crash remains under investigation, and it's not known yet when the case will be concluded, said Motor Sgt. Chris Jacobson. That is common for collisions that involve multiple injuries.
The crash apparently happened when a Partners van turned west onto Wimbledon Drive from Hutchins Street and collided with a southbound Mazda sedan, which had the right of way. Southbound traffic was blocked for about two hours while police investigated.
The Mazda's driver, who was not wearing a seat belt, suffered a lacerated liver and was taken by ambulance to Lodi Memorial Hospital. She was then flown by helicopter to UC Davis Medical Center in Sacramento.
She was initially going to be held there for about 24 hours, but doctors were concerned about the risk of internal bleeding, so she will remain for several days, said her father-in-law, Eddie Vargas.
The woman's 2-year-old boy was not properly restrained in his child safety seat and received a gash on the head, according to police. Vargas said the boy was in his chid seat but not all straps were fastened. The boy was released from Lodi Memorial Hospital.
Police did not release names of any of the four people involved in the crash.
The Partners' minivan was driven by a male Partner, who was treated and released from the hospital. He reported the crash over his police radio, telling dispatchers his vehicle had been involved in an injury collision and giving his location.
His wife was the other Partner, and she was taken to Lodi Memorial Hospital, then transferred to Kaiser Hospital in Sacramento. She is expected to remain there for observation for several days, said Jeanie Biskup, who supervises the Partners.
The Partners had moved two radar trailers, then went back out in the minivan on their regular Monday patrol, Biskup said. That patrol includes checking on schools and parks, including checking on each park bathroom, she said. They also serve any subpoenas that need to be delivered.
Not all Partners drive city vehicles — those who do must first pass a defensive driving course put on by the police department. They also go through the California Mature Driver Course, a state-approved program for those 55 and older, which gives seniors a discount on their insurance rates. Certification is good for three years, and they must take it again to continue driving city vehicles, Biskup said.
The department also monitors Partners' Department of Motor Vehicles records for any citations or collisions, Biskup said. Any health concerns or citizen complaints also trigger investigations, she said.
The volunteers drive a total of about 4,000 miles a month, Biskup said. In the 17 years they've been operating, Monday's crash was the second injury collision involving Partners, with the other one happening more than 10 years ago, she said. They have been involved in two fender-benders during that time.