In Tennessee, when a police officer, construction worker or other emergency personnel member is working on the side of the road, other motorists are required to take heed, move over and give the worker plenty of room. Unfortunately, though, drivers fail to abide by this state law, and injurious collisions occur.
That was the case recently in Campbell County, Tennessee, where a state trooper responding to a fire on Interstate 75 was hit by a semi truck. The truck driver kept going after the collision, and he is now charged with vehicular assault, drunk driving and reckless endangerment. The trooper's family is calling for tougher penalties for drivers who neglect to abide by the move-over law.
The trooper was responding to a burning vehicle on the side of I-75 when the wreck happened. A picture of his vehicle shows significant damage, and the trooper, who is married and has four children, suffered a fractured vertebrae and a fractured rib.
The sergeant heading up the investigation of the accident is also no stranger to the consequences of driver negligence. While working on the roadside, he has been struck by vehicles in two separate instances.
"If you can move over and slow down," he said, "you might actually save one of our lives."
The trooper who is currently injured was described by the sergeant as "very upbeat, very optimistic."
Clearly, this and other collisions are preventable if drivers exercise due caution and heed the move-over law. Failing to remain alert while driving too often leads to serious injuries, and in these cases, it may be possible to receive compensation for damages through a civil claim of personal injury.
Source: wate.com, "Family calls for harsher laws after trooper is struck by truck on interstate," Stephanie Beecken, June 25, 2013