What to Know
- The officer is Andy Chan, a 24-year veteran of the Philadelphia police department. Chan is married and has three children.
- He is a member of the department's highly-regarded Highway Patrol, and he takes part in the annual Hero Thrill Show.
- Chan, 48, suffered a "very significant" head injury when he was thrown from his motorcycle. He underwent brain surgery Thursday night.
A Philadelphia Highway Patrol officer riding his motorcycle was struck by a vehicle in Northeast Philadelphia Thursday evening, and is in critical condition with a very serious head injury, officials said.
Police Commissioner Richard Ross identified the injured officer as Andy Chan, 48, who joined the force 24 years ago. Chan is a member of the department's respected Highway Patrol division. He rides with the motorcycle unit in the annual Hero Thrill Show.
"The doctors are hopeful, as we are," Ross said about 7:30 p.m. Thursday, noting that Chan was going into surgery. "He is one heck of a police officer. He is well-known and well-regarded in this police department."
Ross said Chan suffered a very significant head injury after being thrown from his motorcycle. He was struck near Pennypack Park in the Holmesburg section at Rhawn Street and Rowland Avenue shortly before 6 p.m. as Chan headed to his headquarters.
At a 10:30 p.m. news conference, the commissioner said Chan, a husband and father of three, came out of surgery still in critical condition, but stable, and asked for the public's prayers. Chan remained in critical condition early Friday and will be monitored into the weekend, police said.
"The next 72 hours are critical for Andy," Ross said outside the hospital Friday morning.
Ross said that Chan's condition remaining the same is a "good thing" as the officer recovers from surgery.
Ross reiterated what a popular cop Chan is, pointing out that his predecessor, Charles Ramsey, came to the hospital because he heard who the injured officer was.
"There are very few people who don't know Andy Chan," Ross said.
Chan, in a radio interview from 2017, said he wanted to become a police officer ever since he was a little boy, after meeting cops who came into his parents' restaurant in Philadelphia's Chinatown neighborhood.
"It's the best thing. You're out there in the community. You're out there with the people every day," Chan said in an interview posted on Talk Radio 1210AM's Facebook page. "It's just happy when you're helping strangers out. And they look at you with a smile. And that's the best thing about being a police officer."
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He went into the hospital about 6:10 p.m. Police have not yet said what caused the crash, though Ross said it appears initially "to be an accident."
A heavily-damaged motorcycle could be seen in the middle of the street about 6 p.m. as an ambulance, with police escort, rushed the officer to Jefferson Torresdale Hospital on Knights Road.
Ross believes that Chan's helmet possibly saved his life. Ross said doctors agree.
A minivan with front-end damage was stopped feet from the motorcycle on Rhawn Street. The driver of the van, who Ross identified as a 79-year-old man, stayed at the crash, police said.
"He apparently didn't see (Chan)," Ross said.