Armed police closed a bridge on Beijing’s prestigious Chang’an Avenue on Thursday after a traffic police officer was run over by a black Audi – amid suspicion the vehicle was an official car.
Photos showing the badly injured officer lying on Jianguomen Bridge after being hit by the Audi were posted on Sina Weibo by witnesses.
Black Audis are commonly used as official cars on the mainland and the model shown in online pictures had no number plate.
The officer had been making preparations for the visit of foreign dignitaries.
“The accident took place around 11am, and many armed police have arrived at the scene … Given the condition of the windshield after the crash, the car was travelling at 60 km/h,” one local witness posted online. 
“The black Audi sent him flying 10 metres [from the spot where he was hit],” another witness wrote.
The photos were widely circulated on mainland social media, with many questioning if the Audi was an official car.
A microblogger who claimed to be a colleague of the officer, whose surname was Li, on the same assignment claimed the black Audi was a military car and the driver took the number plate off after the crash.
“When I saw my colleague lying on the bridge my feelings were beyond words. We guarded Chang’an Avenue 24 hours a day to make transport arrangements for the official cars … It [the black Audi] was not the only car that almost brushed against us. Could those privileged people please watch out for the sweating traffic police who block the traffic for you,” he said.
The traffic officers were awaiting the official cars of leaders from Kuwait, local newspaper The Mirror quoted a police source as saying, although this was not confirmed by the authorities.
Several microbloggers also posted that the traffic had already been blocked on the bridge for foreign officials before the accident happened.
Beijing Municipal Public Security Bureau later confirmed the accident on Sina Weibo.
“A traffic police officer surnamed Li, who was handling important transport arrangements for foreign officials, was hit by a black Audi … The driver was detained and placed under investigation,” the bureau said.
The bureau added Li suffered internal bleeding and several broken bones and was immediately taken to hospital.
Local traffic police told the South China Morning Post they could not comment on the accident.