UPDATE: THP encourages people to move over after semi hits trooper's vehicle
UPDATE: Move over. That is the message the Tennessee Highway Patrol has for drivers after two police vehicles were significantly damaged this weekend on the scene of a semi crash on Interstate 24. State troopers said the accident is a reminder to move over for all emergency vehicles.
Tennessee passed the Move Over Law in 2006. The law requires drivers to move over into the next lane of traffic furthest away from the incident or to at least slow down for stopped emergency vehicles. Two things the driver of the semi-truck didn't do.
“Everyone is so thankful nobody received any life-threatening injuries or were killed in this accident,” Lieutenant John Harmon with the Tennessee Highway Patrol said. “That was a Tennessee State Trooper car. Black and tan fully equip state trooper car with its lights activated.”
24-year-old State Trooper Joshua Malone received only minor injuries after THP said a driver broke the state's move over law.
“When you look at that crash, and you see the damage to that vehicle it is amazing how that trooper, Trooper Malone, could escape with minor injuries out of a collision and crash like that,” Lt. Harmon added.
While the law may be there, awareness of it is often lacking. Lt. Harmon hopes this image, will change that.
“Anytime you see someone broken down, or emergency vehicles on the side of the road, you should slow down and move away from that incident,” Lt. Harmon explained.
He said not only is it the law, it is the safe thing to do:
“We want to stress to you, we need to get back to the basics of driving. Our hands on the steering wheel our eyes on the road. Too many people are getting injured and killed on our nation's highways not moving over.”
Saturday’s crash is still under investigation. The truck driver received a citation for not moving over, other charges are still pending.
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24-year-old Trooper Joshua Malone received cuts and abrasions. He was taken to an area hospital but has since been released.
The crash happened Saturday morning in Coffee County on I-24 eastbound at mile marker 112.
Lt. Harmon with THP said the semi also struck a Coffee County patrol car. The deputy was also taken to a hospital.
The co-driver of the semi was transported to a hospital too.
Lt. Harmon said travelers can expect the closure to be lengthy due to the investigation and cleanup.
TDOT is assisting with traffic.
Lt. Harmon asks that everyone traveling near the crash use caution as cleanup continues. He added that some lanes have reopened.