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State Police urge caution after two patrol cars struck

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Bad weather put two Indiana State Troopers in a potentially bad spot this weekend when they were hit while responding to weather-related crashes.

Trooper John Perrine was one of those officers.

“I was able to see this car coming and brace myself for the impact,” said Perrine.

Perrine was in his vehicle at the scene of a crash when a driver lost control of her car and slammed into him.

“Getting hit is one of our biggest fears, and so we are always watching,” he said.

He was in his squad car when it was hit, and told us that he’s lucky to have walked away without serious injury.

He now wants to remind drivers to use caution when approaching stopped cars. Perrine says that even though the lanes were plowed, the conditions were still not quite safe,

“The roads were wet and slushy, and the shoulders were still covered with several inches of snow,” said Perrine.

Because the snow is pushed onto the shoulders of the highway, drivers and emergency responders do not have that extra space to drive into to avoid an accident.

And slowing down or moving to accommodate a stopped emergency vehicle isn’t just a good idea – it’s the law.

“You’re required by law to move to an adjacent lane if available. If not, you are required to slow down so you can make an evasive maneuver if you have to,” said Sergeant Richard Myers of the Indiana State Police.

Drivers who fail to do so can be ticketed for “failure to yield to an emergency vehicle.”

While the law does not apply for non-emergency vehicles, State Police say that it’s still your best bet.

“If you see the car over there with the flashers on, make sure that you slow down at least to give them that room,” said Myers. “Move over.”

With ice in the forecast, troopers are urging drivers to continue to use caution.

“Because the road has gotten slick, they’re not able to stop and they are required to make an evasive maneuver, which is what happened and caused the crash yesterday,” said Perrine.

State Police also want to remind drivers to be extra cautious on bridges and overpasses and to remain in your vehicle if you must stop on the shoulder.