Two Ada County Sheriff’s deputies managed to avoid serious injury early Saturday morning when a car smashed into their patrol SUV on the side of Interstate 84.
Ada Co. Sheriff’s Office spokesman Patrick Orr said the deputies were pulled over on the median side of westbound I-84, just east of Blacks Creek Road, and had the emergency lights on — and flares on the road — while investigating a rollover crash that happened earlier in the morning when the deputies’ Chevrolet Tahoe was hit.
Initial reports indicate that a 21-year-old man driving a car on a snow-slickened I-84 just after 5 a.m. did not slow down and did not move into the right-hand lane – but instead stayed in the left lane and lost control before hitting the back of the Tahoe.
Just before the crash occurred, Orr said, one deputy was in the driver’s seat and another was standing outside, talking to the other deputy through an open window. The deputy standing outside dove out of the way while the other braced for impact.
Orr said the car that hit the Tahoe rolled over and came to rest next to the wreckage of the car involved in the crash that the deputies had been sent to investigate about an hour earlier.
The crash caused heavy damage to the car and the Tahoe, Orr said.
Paramedics treated the deputies at the scene, and later took them to a hospital, where they were treated and released.The driver of the car, Dustin M. Peters, was treated at the scene. Orr said he was not taken to the hospital.
Idaho State Police have cited Peters with reckless driving.
"It could have been much worse," ACSO Lt. Dana Borgquist said. "I don't know why he didn't see the lights. We had flares blocking the lane, we had police vehicle lights on. It was very clear he needed to move over to another lane, to slow down, and he just didn't do it, and he lost control of his vehicle."
Orr said crashes like this one are why drivers are asked to slow down and move over while law enforcement vehicles are stopped on the side of any road, especially during slick winter driving conditions. Also, make sure that you have plenty of stopping distance.
"Enjoy this time. Be there for your family. And be able to come home at night," Borgquist said.
Roads across the Treasure Valley were slick Saturday morning, after about a half-inch of snow fell Friday night.
By 11 a.m. Saturday, Ada County dispatchers had taken reports on 25 crashes - three with injuries - and ten slide-offs.