Atlanta cop smashes car on MLK

An Atlanta police officer was injured Saturday after crashing his cruiser into a pole on Martin Luther King Jr. Drive.

The afternoon accident across from the Westview Cemetery left Officer Shawn Houston with  facial and head injuries, and his vehicle heavily damaged,  authorities say.

Lt. Stacie Gibbs of the Atlanta Police said Houston was on his way to join other officers investigating a concealed weapons case near West Lake Avenue and MLK.  He was traveling east on MLK when the one-car accident occurred.

At least one witness told Channel 2 Action News the officer was traveling at a high rate of speed without his flashing lights.

Gibbs, however, said his speed has not been determined. "He was not involved in a chase," she said. "We don't have any reason at this point to believe he was speeding," she said.

The officer was alert, breathing and talkative after the accident, but he was taken to Grady Memorial Hospital, where he was listed in stable condition.

Channel 2 Action News video taken at the scene shows Houston's police car heavily damaged on the driver's side and paramedics tending to the officer on the ground.  No other cars appeared to be involved in the accident.

Gibbs said the accident was under investigation.