Patrol car hit on turnpike same day as “Move Over” press conference
Beverly Bryant - October 21, 2016 2:00 pm
Less than two hours after the Oklahoma Department of Public Safety and the Oklahoma Department of Transportation hosted a press conference reminding drivers to move over and slow down, the OHP received word that another patrol car had been struck from behind on the Turner Turnpike.
The press event was organized after several OHP and ODOT personnel had been involved in crashes and near-misses in recent months.
About 3:50 p.m. Thursday, Trooper. Charles Criddle was parked on the outside shoulder of the Turner Turnpike at mile marker 145, running radar checks on passing vehicles. A car driven by a 46-year-old Broken Arrow woman left the roadway and struck the patrol car on the driver’s rear side. The woman’s car then re-entered the roadway, striking a passing pickup.
The driver and a passenger in the pickup were both treated and released at an Oklahoma City hospital. The Trooper received minor injuries. The cause of the crash was distraction inside the vehicle.
At Thursday’s press event, DPS Commissioner Michael C. Thompson, ODOT Director J. Michael Patterson, and Oklahoma Highway Patrol Chief Ricky Adams had urged drivers to slow down and move over for emergency vehicles and construction workers. OHP and ODOT vehicles damaged in previous crashes were on display.
“We are asking for the public’s help,” Adams said. “We need motorists to slow down and, whenever possible, move to a different lane when you pass emergency vehicles or workers on the side of the road. This most recent crash further illustrates how essential it is for drivers to be fully aware at all times.”
Thompson said, “These workers and first responders are out there protecting and serving the public, with their lives literally on the line. In the history of the OHP, 45 percent of OHP’s officer fatalities involved an automobile. We can do better.”