UNION COUNTY, OH (WCMH) — An Ohio State Highway Patrol trooper is still is still recovering from injuries suffered in a crash last week.
The crash happened on State Route 347 in Union County on Friday.
Police say an impaired suspect struck the trooper’s cruiser and then hit the trooper with his car.
Trooper Mike Austin’s cruiser is totaled. His post commander says they are thankful that he was not more seriously injured.
“He had a person stopped for a speed violation another driver came up behind him struck the rear of his patrol car he was knocked to the ground then that driver struck him while he was laying on the ground,” said Lieutenant Molly Harris of The Marysville Post.
Trooper Austin was taken to the hospital.
“It kind of brings to life how dangerous our job really is,” said Lieutenant Harris.
The driver who struck Trooper Austin is charged with operating a vehicle while impaired. Trooper Austin is currently recovering at home. No word yet on when he’ll be back at work.
“He’s doing very well he had injuries to his foot. The suspect actually ran over his foot. [He has] injuries to his hand and bumps and bruises too,” said Lieutenant Harris.
Harris says the accident was so bad the dash cam video couldn’t be salvaged.
“Due to the impact that the cruiser took, destroyed the rear end of the cruiser where that camera is housed. So, we only had video up until crash occurred.”
Sergeant Jason Highsmith was one of the first to arrive on the scene.
“When I arrived at the scene it was chaotic. The first thing I noticed was the patrol car which indicated to me that it could be a very severe possibly life-threatening injuries to our trooper,” said Highsmith.
The important message The State Highway Patrol wants to share:
When you see a patrol car on a traffic stop slow yourself down and move over if possible because that saves lives.
It only takes a second for us to not go home to our families which is something that none of us want to face.
It’s reasons like this that the Slow Down Move Over law went into effect to encourage drivers to be aware of their surroundings, to protect emergency workers and also prevent accidents like this from happening again.