MOUNT JULIET, TN (WSMV) – Two Tennessee Department of Transportation contract workers were killed and a Tennessee Highway Patrol trooper was injured in Memphis on Wednesday after a distracted driver crashed into them.
It’s a problem that happens nearly every day.
Last weekend a Mount Juliet police vehicle was hit by a distracted driver with someone seated in the back seat.
Mount Juliet Police Capt. Tyler Chandler said these type accidents are preventable.
“That morning when I got the phone call that one of our police vehicles was hit, my first question to the dispatcher was ‘Are all of our officers OK?’” said Chandler.
All of the air bags in the vehicle deployed, which possibly saved the person’s life in the back of the vehicle.
“You had a vehicle, 2,000 pounds, like a missile traveling down the interstate strike a patrol vehicle and then it sent the vehicle spinning toward our officers,” said Chandler.
Chandler said a distracted driver completely ignored all of the emergency lights and the police who were blocking two lanes.
“It’s very rare when we stop someone and they say ‘Yeah, I saw the police vehicle, I saw the ambulance and I just didn’t want to move over,” said Chandler.
Chandler said drivers need to pay attention so accidents like these don’t keep happening.
“There’s nothing else to warn a motorist about a hazard on the highway except their eyes and their eyes have to be looking at the roadway so they see the hazard,” said Chandler. “It’s sad our biggest worry is other vehicles that are out there.”
The penalty for violating the Move Over Law is a maximum fine of up to $500 and possibly up to 30 days in jail.