Officers struck at crash scene on I-80 near Rock Springs
Photo courtesy Wyoming Highway Patrol.
2 patrol vehicles hit by out-of-control tractor trailer combination; Rock Springs policewoman receives minor injuries; Wyoming Highway Patrolman escapes injury
by Wyoming Highway Patrol
April 6, 2010
Rock Springs – Wyoming motorists are once again reminded to exercise care and obey the law while approaching and passing stopped emergency vehicles at roadside. This morning two law enforcement vehicles received extensive damage and one officer was treated and released for minor injuries after their vehicles were struck by an out of control tractor trailer combination while they were parked at a crash scene.
Wyoming Highway Patrol Lieutenant Scott Keane, being assisted by a Rock Springs Police Department Officer were both struck on eastbound Interstate 80 shortly after 10:00 a.m. Both vehicles were parked on the shoulder of the interstate where a previous crash had occurred between the Dewar Drive and College Drive Interchanges. The law enforcement vehicles did have their emergency lights activated. Weather conditions at the time were snowy with limited visibility and roadways were icy and snow packed.
Both officers were seated in their respective vehicles when they were struck by the tractor trailer combination. Dzmitry Petroskevich, a driver for West Wind Transportation out of Indianapolis, Indiana, lost control of his tractor trailer combination as he approached the scene. His tractor trailer combination began to slide sideways with the van type trailer swinging to the right into the parked law enforcement vehicles and previous crash scene.
After impact with the law enforcement vehicles his combination went across the roadway into the cable barrier in the median. The combination then crossed the eastbound lanes jackknifing and coming to a stop blocking the eastbound lanes of travel. Petroskevich’s combination did not impact the vehicle and trailer that was involved in the previous crash that Lieutenant Keane was investigating.
Lieutenant Keane did not suffer any injuries. The Rock Springs Police Department Officer was transported by ambulance to Memorial Hospital of Sweetwater County where she was treated and released for minor injuries. Petroskevich, who was not injured, has been cited for speed too fast for existing conditions.
By state statute, motorists approaching a stopped emergency vehicle on an interstate highway or highway with two or more travel lanes in the same direction are required to merge into the lane farthest from the emergency vehicle. When driving on a two lane highway motorists are required to slow to a speed that is twenty mph less than the posted speed limit.
Photos courtesy Wyoming Highway Patrol