State police: Trooper was parked in right lane when struck; suffered broken leg and ribs
A Michigan State Police trooper was parked in the right lane of eastbound Interstate 696 when his vehicle was struck early Monday by a large stake truck driven by a man who lost control while trying to change lanes, officials said.
The unidentified officer was parked in the right lane of traffic "shielding troopers working a traffic crash on the right shoulder" when the crash occurred around 7 a.m. at I-696 and the Lodge Freeway, according to state police.
The expressway was closed for about three hours and the trooper was hospitalized at St. John Providence with a broken leg and five broken ribs. He remained hospitalized Tuesday, police said.
Police earlier reported the trooper was parked on the shoulder when he was struck.
According to preliminary reports, the driver of a large stake truck was following another truck in the right lane of eastbound I-696 when the second truck switched to a center lane. The stake-truck driver then spotted the trooper parked ahead and attempted to avoid the vehicle.
"He also attempted to make a lane change when he saw the patrol vehicle in the right lane," police said. "He attempted to stop his vehicle, but lost control hitting the patrol vehicle and (then) his vehicle landed on its side underneath the overpass."
The trooper was conscious at the scene but had no memory of the crash, according to State Police Lt. Mike Shaw. The driver who struck him remained on the scene and submitted to a voluntary blood draw, officials said. No information was available on whether he suffered injuries.
The crash remains under investigation.
State police on Monday released an image via Twitter of the mangled patrol car, caved in from behind with glass blown out.
“This is why you need to pay attention while driving,” officials said in the 8:30 a.m. tweet. “Give a lane.”
The destroyed car has been towed to a spot used last week by officials to hold a news conference discussing the state’s “Move Over” law, requiring motorists to attempt to safety merge into a center lane before passing emergency vehicles, Shaw said. If a safe merge is not possible, drivers are required to significantly slow down.