Officer involved in crash

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. - A St. Petersburg police officer is in the hospital with serious injuries after crashing into a telephone pole overnight.

It all started when police began searching for a car that was stolen from a nearby Chevron gas station at 1st Avenue South and 34th Street South. Police say a white 2002 Cadillac Deville was stolen when a driver left the car unattended with the keys inside and the engine running.

Officers began searching for the vehicle in the area of 8th Avenue South and 43rd Street and that's when police say a silver Kia swerved into oncoming traffic and intentionally hit a police cruiser.

The officer was not injured.

The Kia fled and a chase ensued into south St. Petersburg.

Police say another officer who was heading over to help the officers involved in the pursuit tried to avoid a car that pulled out in front of him. That officer swerved, hitting a telephone pole splitting it in half, flipping the cruiser.

St. Petersburg Fire Rescue was called in to extricate the officer who was pinned inside.

The officer was taken to the hospital with serious injuries but police say they are not life-threatening.

The pursuit was called off after the crash.

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