WEST JEFFERSON, Ohio (WCMH) — The Ohio State Highway Patrol (OSHP) is once again reminding drivers about the state’s “Move Over, Slow Down” law after another first responder was hit on a central Ohio highway.
This latest crash happened early Tuesday morning.
“It’s scary, right. That’s unfortunately how we die. If you look at statistically how a lot of law enforcement in general, especially troopers, get injured or killed, it’s by being struck by vehicles,” said Sgt. Tyler Ross, a spokesperson with the OSHP.
The trooper was helping with traffic control for a different situation on Interstate 70 west in West Jefferson. His emergency lights were on and he was inside his cruiser when a semi crashed into it, according to the OSHP.
“You just never know. There’s no routine thing in anything we do and it’s just a stark reminder to us that unfortunately it does happen,” Ross said.
The trooper was taken to the hospital with minor injuries. Sgt. Ross described these incidents as 100% preventable.
“By law you have to move over and if you can’t move over whether that’s due to inclement weather or traffic or something like that then that’s when you have to slow down,” Ross said. “There’s a variation of this in all 50 states so there’s no excuse. Roadway safety is a shared responsibility. We’ve got to take it seriously any time, whether it’s a tow truck, a first responder, Ohio Department of Transportation.”
In February a trooper in central Ohio was seriously hurt after being hit on I-71. Just days later a Columbus police officer was hit on I-670. In June, a Licking Township Fire Company Truck was hit by a car on I-70.
“Unfortunately, it’s all year long and we continue to see it so we’re again just trying to educate the motoring public,” Ross said. “And it is a big deal because again unfortunately that’s how we get injured and killed.”
There have been five OSHP cruisers hit statewide this year and more than 60 have been crashed into since 2018, according to Ross.