An Idaho State Police trooper and a motorist he was assisting on Wednesday morning were nearly hit by a pickup truck during a collision that wound up involving six vehicles and closed eastbound Interstate 84 for an hour and a half, according to a news release.
The trooper was taken to a hospital with minor injuries and released later Wednesday; the motorist did not require medical care.
A video of the incident released by ISP shows the trooper helping a stopped motorist on the left shoulder of eastbound I-84 near Meridian when a pickup truck barrels into the back of the vehicle, forcing the trooper and motorist to jump toward the median wall. The trooper tumbles over the wall and onto the westbound side of the highway.
The trooper, who was wearing a yellow vest, had parked his patrol car on the left side of the highway, well behind a Toyota sedan that had a flat tire, the news release said. The police car’s emergency lights were on.
A preliminary investigation found that a vehicle had slowed down while passing the trooper’s car at 9:51 a.m. and was hit from behind, which led to a “chain reaction” involving multiple vehicles, the release said.
“Two involved pickups were pushed left, sideswiping the parked patrol car and hitting the rear of the Toyota,” according to the release.
The owner of the Toyota reported minor injuries to police but was not taken to a hospital.
Four vehicles were involved in the crashes on the highway near the Ten Mile Road exit, and the two stopped cars brought the total to six, police said.
“Traffic stops are very high risk. They’re necessary to keep people safe on the road and to help those stranded, but we need motorists’ help so we can all go home at night,” said Idaho State Police Sgt. Brandalyn Crapo in the release. “Slowing down and moving over for emergency vehicles and workers isn’t just a courtesy, it’s the law. Drivers need to be alert to emergency lights and vehicles and always alert to what’s happening around them. That keeps all of us safe.”