Video provided by azfamily powered by 3TV & CBS5AZ
A Peoria police officer and a motorist he was assisting on the side of the road are OK after a vehicle crashed into the patrol vehicle early this week.
Peoria police reported that an officer was pulled over on eastbound SR 74, when a vehicle hit the stopped police vehicle. The officer was working to clear hay off the roadway. The police officer’s camera recorded the accident and forced the officer to jump over the guardrail as protection.
The driver was not impaired and reported that he was unable to stop in time because the vehicle in front of him had slowed down while passing the police vehicle.
“I believe he was going 65 mph and that type of collision, we’re just so lucky that car didn’t go towards that guardrail,” said Officer Brandon Sheffert, a spokesman for the Peoria Police Department.
The driver was cited for failure to control the vehicle to avoid a collision. The situation could have been way worse. Arizona law requires drivers to slow down and move over a lane when approaching a stopped emergency vehicle or a vehicle with flashing lights. Law enforcement is hoping that this video can remind motorist of the importance to move over.
“It’s frustrating because these are the ones that don’t need to happen. There’s no reason at all. They’re out there talking to somebody and had hay fall off a truck and they almost lost their lives. That’s crazy,” Sheffert said.
It is important for motorists to know that that the law also applies to tow truck drivers.
“It can be really scary. You know you’re out there on the side of the road, you’ve got all the cars coming by, a lot of time they’re within inches of you–inches literally within your life,” said Brandon Devahl, the owner of BD-AZ Towing. “When they take the time to slow down, when they take the time to move over, it really gives us a lot more confidence. We’re out there just trying to help somebody get off the side of the road and we’ve got families too and we’re genuinely out there risking our lives. Tow operators are killed every day. It’s scary.”