Pinal County Sheriff's deputy hit by car in San Tan Valley

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By Jennifer Thomas By Jennifer Thomas
By Catherine Holland By Catherine Holland
By Catherine Holland By Catherine Holland
By Catherine Holland By Catherine Holland
By Catherine Holland By Catherine Holland

SAN TAN VALLEY, Ariz. -- A Pinal County Sheriff's deputy was air-lifted to the hospital Monday morning after a car collided with his motorcycle.

It happened shortly after 7:30 a.m. in the area of Hunt Highway in Gary Road in San Tan Valley, which is southeast of Phoenix. The intersection is closed.

Aerial video from the Fort McDowell Casino News Chopper and ground photos from Elias Johnson of  the Pinal County Sheriff's Office show the officer's badly damaged motorcycle leaning against the driver's side of a white four-door car with a crunched front wheel well and bumper.

Debris and was scattered all over the intersection.

Johnson said Deputy Charles Gaston was heading south on Gary Road when the car pulled in front of him. The driver of the car apparently failed to yield at a stop sign and did not see the deputy.

According to Johnson, Gaston flew over the hood of the car and hit the pavement.

"He was pretty seriously banged up," Johnson said.

According to Bruce Haffner, the AirEvac crew that was taking the officer to Scottsdale Healthcare Osborn said he did not lose consciousness, which is considered a good sign.

Johnson said Gaston was in serious condition, having suffered broken ribs and a broke wrist. He also lost several teeth and sustained head trauma. Doctors were doing a CT scan to determine the extent of that injury.

The Department of Public safety will be handling the investigation. Charges against the woman who was driving the car are pending.

At this point, investigators do not believe impairment was a factor in the wreck.