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Philadelphia Police Officer Suffers Fractured Spine, Hip After Crashing Car Into Pole

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PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- A Philadelphia police officer is in the hospital after a scary accident on Thursday afternoon. Matthew Smyth was on his way to a call when he crashed into a support beam.

The 31-year-old and nine-year veteran is now recovering from multiple injuries at Temple University Hospital.

Eyewitness News was told Smyth suffered a fracture to his hip and his spine. He also suffered injuries to his face and head. He is expected to be OK.

Smyth's mother, Nancy, says the officer will not be paralyzed because of the accident.

Officers and Fraternal Order of Police leadership arrived in droves in support of one of their own, who was pulled from his cruiser that was reduced to pieces and scorched in parts.

"At about 3:30 today, on the 2400 block of South 12th Street, a 22nd District police officer was responding to a priority assignment," Sgt. Eric Gripp said.

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En route to that assignment, police say the officer's vehicle struck a large barrier that supports overhead SEPTA rails and then caught fire.

No other vehicles were involved and no one else was injured.

"Any day, any time of the year, it would be a horrible thing for something like this to happen, but so close to the holidays, we are just beyond grateful right now that it looks like the officer is going to be OK," Sgt. Gripp said.

The crash remains under investigation.

Eyewitness News was told that Smyth's parents have been by his side all night, as well as his brothers and sisters of the force.

As of 9:30 p.m., Smyth was awake, alert and joking with his parents.

Smyth's father is a retired Philadelphia police lieutenant who spent 25 years on the job.

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