Two cops injured in Loop traffic crash

Two Chicago police officers were hospitalized after their unmarked police car was struck by another vehicle that went through a red light in the Loop this afternoon, police said.The crash happened at the intersection of Clark and Van Buren Streets. (Chuck Berman, Chicago Tribune / January 1, 2012)

Two Chicago police officers were hospitalized after their unmarked police car was struck by another vehicle that ran through a red light in the Loop this afternoon, police said.

The crash, involving two female tactical officers, happened at the intersection of Clark and Van Buren Streets at about 2:40 p.m., police said.

The unmarked police vehicle was traveling westbound on Van Buren Street when it was struck by a tan-colored Chevrolet Impala traveling south on Clark Street, police said.

An officer at the scene of the accident said the driver of the Chevrolet told police that he was reaching for a cup of coffee before realizing he had blown through a red light and struck the police car.

Front-end damage could be seen to the Chevrolet, especially to its driver's side. There's also a crack on the upper, driver's side windshield

The driver is being questioned by police, according to Officer VeeJay Zala of Police News Affairs.

The two officers in the car were taken to Northwestern Memorial Hospital in fair-to-serious condition, according to a Chicago Fire Department spokesman.

csadovi@tribune.com