Philadelphia police officer seriously injured in crash

NORTH PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- A Philadelphia police officer injured in a crash remains in critical but stable condition at Temple University Hospital.

His parents have been by his side as he undergoes treatment for several injuries after the high-speed crash.

They identified their son as 30-year-old Matthew Smyth.

His family says he suffered a number of injuries ranging from a broken nose to a significant head gash among other things, but he will be okay.

"He does have a fracture of the cervical spine that we're still dealing with," said Nancy Smyth, the officer's mother.

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Philadelphia police officer injured in crash. Dann Cuellar reports during Action News at 11 p.m. on December 27, 2018.

Investigators say the 22nd District officer was traveling southbound in the 2400 block of North 12th Street around 3:30 p.m. Thursday when the accident happened.

Smyth smashed his patrol car head-on to a concrete and steel pillar from a railroad overpass.

The vehicle burst into flames upon impact, but the officer was able to get out.

"I did hear the car caught fire and they did have to grab him out of the car. So that's a little scary. I just cannot believe the support we received tonight. The police dept is just wonderful. Everyone came and supported him," Nancy Smyth said.

Police say the officer was responding to an emergency when it happened.

Philadelphia Police Sgt. Eric Gripp said, "The officer was in response to a priority assignment. The nature of that right now, I'm going to have to look into, but from what we have gathered he was lights and sirens responding to this accident, what preceded him crashing into that barrier."

Smyth was undergoing a CAT scan but police say there appears to be nothing that's life-threatening.

"So close to the holidays, we are just beyond grateful right now, it looks like the officer is going to be okay, and that's all we can hope for," said Sgt. Gripp.

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Philadelphia officer injured in North Phila. crash. Brian Taff reports during Action News at 4 p.m. on December 27, 2018.

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