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Car accident leads to work accident for state trooper

Vehicle accidents can often lead to even more accidents. Disabled cars parked on interstate shoulders, emergency responders assisting the injured, high speeds and distracted driving all combine to cause very dangerous conditions. This was just the situation for a state trooper, two women and a commercial vehicle driver recently. When the trooper was called to the scene of a minor car accident late one evening, which happens often across North Carolina, he had no way of knowing he would soon be taken to the hospital -- the victim of a work accident himself.

After completing the investigation of the initial accident, the law enforcement officer tried to assist one woman safely back to her vehicle, which was parked on the inside shoulder of the roadway. With emergency lights flashing, he pulled out onto the interstate only to be struck by an oncoming commercial vehicle that was heading westbound. The impact caused the patrol car to spin out of control into the emergency lane and crash into the woman's unoccupied Honda Civic.

The box truck was then propelled into another vehicle being driven by a young woman also heading westbound. The truck driver was not injured in the crash. The two women and the trooper were transported to local medical centers, but thankfully none of their injuries were serious or life threatening.

North Carolina "move over" laws require motorists to slow down and move at least one lane over when emergency and work crew personnel are along roadways. This is just one step toward protecting roadside workers, law enforcement and first responders from a work accident while alongside busy highways. Even more importantly, drivers must remain alert and undistracted. When an accident does occur, the injured party should consider filing for workers' compensation benefits. This could help alleviate the financial burden of unexpected medical expenses and lost wages due to missed time at work.

Source: officer.com, Florida State Trooper Injured in Highway Collision, No author, Jan. 30, 2014

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