Photo by John Schreiber.

A California Highway Patrol motorcycle officer suffered fatal injuries Saturday when he was struck by a sedan on Interstate 15 just outside of Lake Elsinore, the CHP said

The unidentified officer was airlifted to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

The crash — reported at 4:26 p.m. on the southbound side of the freeway, just north of Nichols Road — caused miles of snarled traffic, according to a CHP.

The crash prompted authorities to shut down all southbound lanes, causing a seven-mile traffic jam with some drivers reportedly using the shoulder to escape the congestion.

Initial reports indicate the driver of a black sedan may have been driving recklessly and struck the officer, who was in the right shoulder.

The CHP said motorists were being diverted off the freeway via the Lake Street exit.

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