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Two St. Paul police officers were hospitalized with back and neck injuries after a suspected drunken driver slammed into their unmarked SUV this weekend, authorities said.

The investigators with the department's gun and gang unit were on patrol just after 11:30 p.m. Friday in the Hamline-Midway neighborhood when a pickup truck speeding down N. Prior Avenue struck them from behind.

The 20-year-old driver from St. Paul, who showed signs of alcohol impairment, was later booked into the Ramsey County jail on suspicion of gross misdemeanor criminal vehicular operation. The Star Tribune generally does not name suspects before they are charged.

Both officers were treated for noncritical injuries at Regions Hospital and released. The impact of the crash totaled both vehicles.

In a separate incident earlier Friday evening, a motorist with no headlights on blew a stop sign on Front Street in the city's North End and rear-ended a patrol officer attempting to make a U-turn for a traffic stop, said police spokesman Mike Ernster.

Paramedics evaluated minor injuries of the civilian driver and passenger that didn't not require hospitalization. The officer was unhurt.

That crash remains under investigation.

Liz Sawyer