Three Clearwater officers injured in crash on causeway

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The Clearwater Police Department said three of its officers suffered non-life-threatening injuries when two drivers crashed into their patrol cruisers in the westbound lanes of the Courtney Campbell Causeway early Saturday morning.

One of the officers was pinned between vehicles during the crash, CPD said.

The westbound lanes were shut down for hours as police investigated. They reopened sometime after 8 a.m. 

Police said the crashes happened 12 minutes apart, at 3:24 and 3:36 a.m.

According to investigators, an officer was assisting a disabled vehicle when another driver crashed into the back of the parked patrol car, which had its light on. 

After the crash, two more Clearwater officers responded to the scene. Police said minutes later, another driver crashed into the back of their patrol cars.

The impact pushed both cruisers into one another, and all three officers on scene were struck either by the vehicles or flying debris. The three injured police officers were hospitalized after the crash.

The driver of the second vehicle told officers he fell asleep at the wheel.

A total of five vehicles, three of them police cruisers, were damaged in the two crashes. 

Both incidents remain under investigation and charges are pending against the drivers. The identities of those involved have not been released.