Indiana state trooper injured helping clean debris along interstate

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. -- A state trooper is recovering after being injured in a crash with an alleged drunk driver.

The accident took place this morning along 465 as the trooper was helping clear debris from the road.

The entire right side of the state police squad car has been smashed.  The trooper sitting inside survived after a driver slammed into the car overnight.

“You know this is an unfortunate situation that really is senseless and didn’t need to happen,” said ISP Sgt. Trent Smith.

Sgt. Smith says the injured trooper was blocking two lanes on 465 with his lights on, waiting to clear some large debris when his car got hit by a female driver who showed signs of intoxication.

Luckily that trooper is okay and has been released from the hospital.

“This is very extensive damage to the car.  Thankfully it ended the way it did.  It could have been a lot worse,” said Smith.

“You know that trooper could have been injured or killed very easily,” said Hoosier Helpers Chris Lowery.

Chris drives the interstates everyday with INODT.  He knows the danger troopers face because his truck has been repeatedly damaged by inattentive drivers.

“My last commission had been hit twice.  Side swiped twice because people didn’t move over for it,” said Lowery.

Hoosier Helpers works as a first response team to keep interstates clear of immediate hazards in the roadway.  INDOT maintenance crews also work to pick up debris.

Unfortunately, it’s not hard to find debris littering Hoosier interstates, but authorities say if it’s not blocking the roadway it’s not a top priority to clear.  They also have a word of advice for all drivers who see anyone working along the interstates.

“Slow down and move over.  Give us room to work,” said Lowery.

“We just remind people when you see the flashing lights to slow down.  That should be your first thought.  Slow down,” said Smith.

The story is also a reminder about the dangers of driving under the influence.

Police believe the driver of the other car, 25-year-old Rachel Dawe of Indianapolis, was intoxicated at the time of the crash. She was taken to IU Health Methodist Hospital after being injured in the incident.

The investigation into the crash continues. ISP will work with the Marion County Prosecutor's Office to determine any possible charges against Dawe.