ISP trooper in ‘very serious condition’ after being struck on I-865 eastbound

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – An Indiana State Police trooper was seriously injured after being struck on the interstate Wednesday morning.

The crash happened on I-865 eastbound near the I-465 southbound ramp at mile marker 4. All eastbound lanes of 865 were closed as a result of the crash.

State police say a white van was stopped on the side of the road and the trooper stopped to check on it. As he was walking along the passenger side, the driver of a dark Ford smashed into the back of the officer’s squad car.

“A car came along and struck his police car which was pushed into the van.  The van then struck the trooper.  He went airborne over the guard rail where he landed,” said Indiana State Police Sgt. John Perrine.

The injured trooper is 5 year veteran Ronneal Williams.  He suffered broken bones but stayed alert enough to call for help.

The crash again illustrates the danger troopers face on the job.  Earlier this month another trooper got hurt after he pulled over to help clean debris off 465 and investigators say a driver who showed signs of intoxication slammed into his squad car.

“There’s a lot of emergency vehicles that have to work on the side of the road.  We’re asking drivers for a little cooperation. We need people to pay attention and slow down and move over,” said Perrine.

Indiana’s move over or slow down law is pretty simple.  Any time there’s two lanes of traffic in the same direction drivers are required to move over one lane to give emergency crews room to work.  If drivers can’t move over, they need to slow down at least 10 miles below the posted speed limit.

“Anything with flashing emergency lights you have to slow down and move over and that’s what we need people to do,” said Perrine.

At this point, state police say it’s not clear why the driver of the Ford veered onto the shoulder of road and caused the crash, but troopers remind all drivers to stay alert behind the wheel.

“Pay attention to what’s important and that’s driving.  My life depends on it and your life depends on it. Everybody’s life depends on paying attention while you drive,” said Perrine.

In addition to the state trooper the other two people involved in the crash were taken to the hospital.   They too are expected to be okay.