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CHP Motorcycle Officer Back On Job After Horrific Petaluma Crash

PETALUMA (CBS SF) - A veteran California Highway Patrol motorcycle officer who was critically injured in a crash nearly a year ago returned to duty on Monday.

Officer Todd Overzet, who has been with the CHP for 20 years, suffered a torn aorta in a crash on May 12, 2010, near the intersection of Lakeville Highway and Frates Road in Petaluma, according to the CHP.

Overzet had been responding to a crash near state Highway 37 when he collided with a silver 2010 Toyota Corolla. Overzet and the car were both heading east on Lakeville Highway.

Petaluma police said that as Overzet was approaching Matteri Road on Lakeville Highway, he began to pass a silver 2004 F-150 truck on the left of the broken single yellow center line.

Traveling ahead of the truck was the Corolla driven by a 73-year-oldNovato woman, who tried to make a U-turn as Overzet began to pass the truck, CHP officials said.

The Corolla turned directly in front of Overzet, who ran into the car and was thrown from his bike.

Since the accident, Overzet has been recovering from more than 15 injuries he suffered in the crash, including a torn aorta, fractured right forearm and bruising to his internal organs, according to the CHP.

Overzet returned to full duty as a motorcycle officer on Monday.

"I would like to take this opportunity to thank the communities of Marin and Sonoma counties for their outpouring of concern and support for me during my recovery last year," Overzet said in a statement.

"I thank God for the blessing of working in this place for people such as you and restoring my health to the point where I may once again resume my duties with CHP," he said.


(Copyright 2011 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services may have contributed to this report.)

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