Alleged drunk drivers crash into East Bay cops hours apart

Surveillance video released Monday shows a driver running a red light and broadsiding an Alameda County sheriff's deputy in Oakland.

The crash happened at 16th Avenue and Foothill Boulevard in the city's San Antonio neighborhood at about 4:30 a.m. Sunday.

"We're lucky that our deputy survived this accident. A few more feet and he would have been severely injured, if not killed in that crash," said Sheriff Greg Ahern.

The deputy, who is assigned to patrol AC Transit buses, was returning to his station when a driver ran a red light. The impact sent the suspect's car onto the lawn outside a church - and caused a small fire in the deputy's vehicle.

The deputy was able to radio in the crash.

"I was able to speak to him today. He's feeling very sore, but he's ok and thankful he's alive," Ahern said.

KTVU has learned that the suspect, Gregorio  Bautista Garcia, 21, was cited and released for misdemeanor DUI. Authorities say his blood-alcohol level was .16, about twice the legal limit.

"There were a number of alcohol containers that made it obvious that the driver was under the influence," Ahern said.

In a separate incident at about 10:30 p.m. Saturday, a Richmond police motor officer had stopped the driver of a Mini Cooper for speeding on Interstate 80.

"A vehicle struck the rear end of the motorcycle and pushed it into the Mini Cooper," said Richmond police Sgt. Aaron Pomeroy.

The driver of the Mini suffered minor injuries. The officer wasn't hurt. 

The driver of the Ford Fusion who hit the officer was arrested on suspicion of DUI.

"He was on probation for DUI, he had an active warrant for his arrest for DUI and he was approximately three times the legal limit," Pomeroy said.

Police say these incidents are a reminder as to why they go after DUI drivers, even as some drivers avoid checkpoints, like one driver did in San Carlos on Cinco de Mayo.

"We have many units out there trying to discourage drunk driving, and this is exactly why we do that," Ahern said. "There's horrific accidents that occur on a daily basis."