An Oklahoma Highway Patrol Trooper narrowly escaped injury when a driver struck the trooper’s unoccupied patrol car Tuesday in the eastbound lane of the Muskogee Turnpike.
Trooper Adam Wood’s vehicle was in the left lane of the turnpike with emergency lights on after assisting a driver. He was clearing debris from the shoulder of the road when he saw an SUV headed toward his car, not slowing.
Wood jumped over the center wall to escape being hit by the SUV.
The SUV crashed into the OHP patrol car, sending it more than 200 feet down the road.
The driver of the SUV sustained only minor injuries from airbag deployment and refused treatment at the scene. The driver was ticketed for inattentive driving and failing to yield to an emergency vehicle.
“This incident illustrates how vitally important it is for drivers to be aware and attentive at all times,” said OHP Chief Ricky Adams. “We are fortunate that there were no serious injuries or loss of life to anyone in this crash.”
Oklahoma law requires drivers to either change lanes or slow down when passing emergency vehicles on the road with lights flashing.
“Our Troopers face many dangers each and every day,” Adams said. “In the last several years, we’ve had far too many near-misses and units struck. Please avoid all distractions when you’re driving, and when you see flashing lights, slow down and move over. Help us all avoid needless tragedies.”