Crash Is A Reminder Of Move Over Law

Monday, March 23rd 2009, 5:52 pm
By: News On 6

By Lori Fullbright, The News On 6

TULSA, OK -- An Oklahoma Highway Patrol trooper is lucky to have only a concussion and some stitches in his face, after someone slammed into the back of his squad car at more than 60  miles an hour.  The driver says a leg cramp distracted him from the road for just a second, but that's all it took.

Seeing the trooper's car parked in the OHP garage in the light of day, really lets you see the tremendous amount of damage.  The impact was squarely in the middle of the trunk and forced the trooper's car into the van he'd just pulled over, that had 15 people inside.

03/22/2009  Related Story: State Trooper Hurt In Crash Near Claremore

To give you an idea the devastation of the impact, the trooper's backseat was pushed nearly into the front seat.

Trooper Chris Simpson has been on the force about 10 years and was sitting in his car, making notes when the crash happened.  Troopers don't wear their seatbelts during those quick moments, in case they must get out of the car in a hurry.

"It threw him over here and he hit his head on the dash or computer and got some stitches in his head," said OHP Lt. George Brown.

The driver who hit Trooper Simpson's car told investigators he'd been fishing all day and said he got a bad leg cramp.

"He told investigators he winced, closed his eyes, bent down and when he looked up, it was too late," said OHP Lt. George Brown.

Troopers say that leg cramp might not have proven to be so dangerous, had the driver moved over, a lane away when he saw the trooper pulled onto the side of the road, as Oklahoma law requires.

"65 miles an hour, you're traveling at 90 feet per second. Speed limits on the turnpikes are even higher, 75 miles an hour, now you're more than 100 feet per second and there's no time to react. All it takes is a second," said OHP Lt. George Brown.

The News On 6 was unable to contact the driver at his Broken Arrow home.

The Oklahoma Move-Over Law says if you see an emergency vehicle or tow truck pulled over on the side of the road, you must move over one lane.  If you absolutely can't do that, you must slow way down.