Central Iowa Police Officer in Critical Condition After Weekend Incident
A West Des Moines police officer is in critical condition after a weekend traffic incident on I-35.
Officer Jon Kaufman was part of an Operating While Intoxicated (OWI) arrest around midnight Sunday morning, November 8, near the Westown Parkway overpass on northbound I-35 in West Des Moines. Minutes later, as we waited for the arrested driver's vehicle to be towed and impounded, Kaufman's patrol car was struck by a vehicle driven by John Schwartz of Kellogg.
Both Kaufman and Schwartz were taken to Des Moines hospitals, according to KCCI. Kaufman was later transferred and placed in Intensive Care at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics in Iowa City. He suffered skull fractures in both the front and back, blood clots, and a small brain bleed. Kaufman has since been transferred back to a Des Moines hospital and is in critical but stable condition.
The condition of John Schwartz has not been released.
The Des Moines Register reports Schwartz told authorities he had been drinking, was playing a movie on his dashboard, and had his cruise control on when the accident occurred. Blood and urine samples for Schwartz are pending and could lead to an operating while intoxicated charge. He could also face other charges.
Jon Kaufman has been a West Des Moines Police Officer for about a year. His pregnant wife, Dena, is less than a month from her due date. According to a post on the Urbandale Police Department Facebook page, Kaufman's recovery is expected to be "VERY long." A Venmo account (@Caring-For-Kaufman) has been set up to help the family with their non-medical expenses, which will be paid for by the City of West Des Moines.