Video courtesy Mt. Juliet Police Department.
MT. JULIET, Tenn. (WATE) – Frightening video posted online by the Mt. Juliet Police Department Monday shows one of their patrol cars being hit by another vehicle at the scene of a previous emergency. Fortunately, no one was injured.
The unoccupied patrol car was among four police vehicles and a fire engine emergency vehicles on the scene of a pickup truck bed fire on westbound Interstate 40 in Mt. Juliet around 4:50 p.m. While an officer was outside his patrol vehicle and approaching the incident, the patrol vehicle was hit by an out of control car around 5 p.m.
The officer had gotten out of the car only moments before impact. The other car left the roadway and stopped about 450 feet away. Neither the officer nor the other driver were hurt.
Per department policy, a third-party agency must investigate an accident involving a police vehicle, so the Tennessee Highway Patrol responded to the scene.
Tennessee Highway Patrol on Move Over Law
Whether they are issuing a ticket or responding to an emergency, troopers and other law enforcement officers almost every day find themselves in or on the shoulder of the road, just inches away from speeding vehicles.
“It is a scary situation because you are that close to traffic and interstate speeds 65 to 70 miles per hour. It can be very scary,” said Tennessee Highway Patrol Lt. Don Boshears.
Lt. Boshears says troopers have been hit, injured and even killed while working on the interstate. To help protect everyone, from law enforcement to TDOT workers, Tennessee passed the “Move Over Law” in 2006,m requiring drivers to move over a lane, if possible, when they see emergency or maintenance workers on the shoulder.
“If you can’t move over, you should at least try to slow down some,” said Boshears.
The goal of the Move Over Law is to prevent crashes like the one in Mt. Juliet on Monday.
“If you were sitting there or standing outside your vehicle, would you want that person to move over for you? Of course you would,” Lt. Boshears said.
THP also wants to remind drivers to be completely focused on the road when they are behind the wheel. They say it takes only a second to cause a deadly crash.