A Virginia state trooper and a Virginia Department of Transportation worker were injured at the scene of three accidents in Newport News, Virginia (VA).

At about 6:35 a.m. a trooper was working a single vehicle accident on the 35th Street on ramp to the interstate, The Daily Press reports.  While the trooper was working the scene a Mazda lost control and struck a VDOT traffic operations truck that was positioned behind the troopers’ state vehicle, to provide extra lights for scene safety.

The officer then walked back to check that all parties were safe and to establish the extent of the injuries. As he walked to the scene, a Toyota suddenly lost control and struck the VDOT traffic operations truck and then the trooper.

Both the VDOT worker and the trooper suffered “minor” injuries.  But what a mess! It’s amazing how fast a single car accident can turn into a three car accident with injuries.  We don’t know what made the two cars lose control and crash but we do know they were charged with reckless driving and failure to maintain proper control of a vehicle. 

It seems to go without saying that if you see an emergency vehicle, slow down, move over, and keep your eyes on the road!  Yet time and time again inattentive drivers injure emergency personal and road crews that are just trying to assist others. 

Since 1999, an average of 15 police officers and troopers have lost their lives each year after being hit while standing by the side of a road or highway. Dozens more get injured when passing drivers fail to give the law enforcement officers a safe space. Across Virginia, eight state troopers have been involved in roadside collisions during 2009 and 2010.

I’m glad that the trooper and the VDOT worker well recover soon and I hope their injuries don’t have any long lasting consequences.