A policeman has been pinned between a truck and his patrol car in a hit-and-run attack detectives are treating as attempted murder.
The officer sustained serious head injuries when the low loader truck drove into him at speed as he approached the vehicle on foot in Co Armagh, Northern Ireland.
A police patrol investigating an ATM theft in the nearby Newry area had been driving down a single lane country road near the village of Cullyhanna when they encountered the low loader coming in the other direction around lunch time.
Officers believed the truck was suspicious, so the policeman got out and approached the driver. Police said at that point he drove toward him and rammed him into the parked patrol car.
The injured officer was treated at the scene and then airlifted to hospital in Belfast. His injuries, while serious, are not believed to be life threatening.
Police are not linking the hit and run with the earlier ATM theft in Newry at this stage.
Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) superintendent Simon Walls described what happened during the incident on the Mullaghduff Road.
“As one of the officers exited the police vehicle to speak to the driver, the lorry was driven at speed directly at the officer, striking him and pinning him between the lorry and a police patrol vehicle,” he said.
“The lorry then fled the scene.
“The officer’s colleagues rushed to help him, providing emergency first aid. The PSNI helicopter was then used to transport the officer to hospital in Belfast.”
He added: “I am sure the local community in south Armagh will join us in condemning this callous incident and in wishing him a speedy and complete recovery.
“From the accounts of those at the scene, this appears to have been a deliberate act and as such we will be treating this incident as the attempted murder of a police officer.”
The lorry is described as having a white cab, a yellow bumper, a red low-loader body and was carrying a white or silver vehicle.
Police appealed for witnesses to come forward.