MERIDIAN, Idaho — An Idaho State Police trooper who jumped over a concrete barrier to avoid being hit was taken to the hospital Wednesday morning after a six-car collision on eastbound Interstate 84 at Ten Mile Road.
The trooper's patrol car was stopped in the median as the trooper, wearing a yellow safety vest, assisted a stranded driver with a flat tire, according to an ISP press release. ISP said the patrol car had its emergency lights activated, and was parked behind the stranded driver's car.
ISP said its preliminary investigation indicates that at 9:51 a.m. Wednesday, one vehicle approaching the area began to slow before passing the patrol car, but it was hit by another vehicle, causing a chain reaction of four other vehicles.
The trooper assisting the stranded driver jumped over the median to avoid being hit by a car. An ambulance took him to the hospital, where he was treated for minor injuries and released. The stranded driver, who was standing outside his car, reported minor injuries, but was not taken to the hospital.
ISP said passing motorists saw the "close call for the trooper" and immediately called 911 to report it.
This incident remains under investigation by ISP.
"These types of situations are extremely common, and this truly is a life or death situation," said ISP Sgt. Brandalyn Crapo. "Today we were extremely lucky."
Idaho law requires drivers to slow down and/or change lanes when passing police vehicles, other emergency vehicles, tow trucks and highway incident response vehicles that are stopped on the roadway.
"Please move over, slow down, pay attention when you're driving down the road," Crapo said.
Idaho State Police troopers in District 3, which includes southwestern Idaho, will conduct a special emphasis patrol focusing on violations of the "slow down, move over" law. Troopers will have extra patrols out Thursday on I-84 in Ada County. ISP said the goal is to educate drivers through focused enforcement.
"The biggest thing right now is just awareness to people. We've got to get the message out that this move over law is extremely important," Crapo said.
A video of Wednesday's incident, posted on YouTube by ISP, is also posted below and available here.
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