It remains a mystery at this hour why an Orange County sheriff's deputy on routine patrol drove his cruiser into a light pole along Marguerite Parkway near Vista Del Lago in Mission Viejo around 3 this morning.
The unidentified deputy was ejected from the car and suffered a head injury, according to a sheriff's department statement.
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Taken to Mission Hospital Laguna Beach in critical condition, the deputy was later upgraded to serious condition.
The male deputy, a 13-year veteran of the force, was later said to be "responsive, recognizing individuals who have come to visit him" in the hospital, according to a sheriff's spokesperson.
The department's Major Accident Reconstruction Team is investigating the single-car crash that resulted in no other injuries.