INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – In less than 24 hours, two Indiana State troopers suffered minor injuries after being hit by on the interstate while inside their cars.
The first crash happened around 10:20 a.m. Thursday. Sgt. Shawn O’Keefe was on the right shoulder investigating a crash on I-465 near Kentucky Avenue when a passing vehicle hit his police cruiser. O’Keefe, a 22-year veteran, suffered minor injuries and was treated at the scene.
Police issued a ticket to Phil Kaldahl, 48, Brownsburg, saying he was going too fast for the weather conditions.
On Friday morning, another state trooper was investigating a crash on I-65 northbound near 21st Street. Master Trooper Charles Taylor, a 16-year veteran, was helping a disabled vehicle when his police car was hit.
Police said a Ford pickup truck failed to yield to two emergency vehicles blocking the left lane and hit Taylor’s car. A state trooper was blocking the left lane with his car and had his emergency lights on before a slight curve. The truck passed the first trooper’s car and then got into the left lane, hitting Taylor’s car.
Taylor went to IU Health Methodist Hospital to be treated for non-life-threatening injuries.
The driver, Russell Jones, 53, Franklin, was issued tickets for failure to yield to a stationary emergency vehicle and unsafe lane movement.
Under state law, drivers should move over to give emergency vehicles room to operate. If drivers can’t make a lane change, they should reduce their speed.
Indiana State Police had the following reminders:
- As soon as you see the flashing emergency lights you should immediately begin reducing your speed as well as increase the following distance between you and the vehicle in front of you. By reducing speed and increasing following distance you substantially increase your ability to safely react to the emergency vehicle or other hazards that may suddenly present themselves.
- If possible, move to the next lane away from the emergency vehicle. This provides a safe barrier for the emergency worker and also allows traffic coming behind you to clearly see the emergency vehicle on the side of the road so they can begin to take appropriate action.
- If you’re unable to safely change lanes, reduce your speed at least 10 miles per hour under the posted speed limit and move as far away as possible, within your lane, from the emergency vehicle.
- Remember, according to Indiana State Law, emergency vehicles include: firetrucks, ambulances, tow trucks, highway maintenance vehicles, utility service vehicles, police cars, roadside service vehicles and garbage trucks.