Indiana State Police Master Trooper Jeff Council received quite a scare this morning when he stopped to assist a stranded motorist and was hit.
Preliminary investigation revealed that, at approximately 1:16 am, Trooper Council stopped behind a disabled vehicle on I-94 east bound at the 31.5 mile marker (this is approximately 2 ½ miles west of the Michigan City exit). Both Council’s fully marked police car and the disabled vehicle were pulled completely off the interstate on the outer shoulder. Council’s police car had all emergency lights on at the time also.
As Council got out of his police car to approach the disabled vehicle a white 2000 Ford E250 van, driven by Nonna Warda, 59 of Chicago, Illinois was east bound in the right lane when she failed to yield and side swiped Council hitting him on his right side. She also struck his Dodge Charger police car in the driver’s door, bending the door and shattering the driver’s window. The mirror from her van was found on the driver side floor of the police car.
Warda stated she didn’t see the trooper. She was cited for Failure to Yield.
Council was taken Indiana University Health Hospital in LaPorte were he was treated and released for non-life threatening injuries to his side.
The Indiana State Police reminds drivers that Indiana Law requires motorists to move over and or slow down when approaching an emergency vehicle, or a highway maintenance vehicle, on two or four lane roadways when they have emergency lights flashing.
Motorists MUST change lanes away from the emergency or highway maintenance vehicle if they can do so SAFELY; If not they must SLOW DOWN and proceed with caution. We are asking motorists NOT TO STOP in the roadway, but to SLOW DOWN and/or MOVE OVER.