CHICAGO (STMW) — A 19-year-old southwest suburban woman has been ticketed after crashing into a police squad car as an officer directed traffic at the scene of a gas leak Saturday afternoon on the Southwest Side.

Patricia Smith of Palos Heights was cited with damage to city property and disobeying police, News Affairs officer John Mirabelli said.

Authorities said both a police officer and a firefighter were hospitalized after the collision. Both men were listed in good condition and the crash was not a hit-and-run, according to Fire Media Affairs spokesman Joe Roccasalva.

A small gas leak occurred about 1:15 p.m. Saturday in the 10400 block of South Pulaski Road, bringing a Level I HazMat response. A firefighter and officer were trying to direct traffic when separate vehicles struck them, Roccasalva said.

Police said the two were hit about 1:20 p.m. but had no information on injuries to the firefighter.

The police vehicle was protecting the area and maintaining a perimeter when Smith, driving a Ford Crown Victoria made a left turn and didn’t see the marked police vehicle, which was parked on 103rd Street. Smith’s vehicle struck the driver’s side of the police vehicle, Mirabelli said.

The firefighter was taken to Metro South Medical Center in Blue Island while the officer was taken to Little Company of Mary Hospital and Health Care Centers in Evergreen Park. Both were in good condition, said Roccasalva.

The Hazmat was secured about 2 p.m. and no other injuries occurred, Roccasalva said.

(Source: Sun-Times Media Wire © Chicago Sun-Times 2010. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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