Both the Wisconsin State Patrol and the Winnebago County Sheriff’s Office had cruisers struck by passing vehicles while teaming up to crack down on drivers violating the Move Over Law. Both crashes happened on slippery stretches of US 41 on Sunday, November 16.
A State Patrol cruiser getting sideswiped was caught on dashcam. Video of the close call has already gotten more than 60,000 views on social media. You can watch video of the crash here.
The cruiser was parked on the shoulder of US 41 southbound near County II in Neenah while a trooper assisted at the scene of two single-vehicle crashes on Sunday at 8:11 a.m. The driver of a passing car lost control of the vehicle and struck the rear of the cruiser. Fortunately, the trooper was assisting the crashed vehicles and was not in the cruiser when it was struck.
In a separate incident on the same day, a Winnebago County Sheriff’s Office cruiser was parked while a deputy assisted at the scene of a single-vehicle crash on US 41 northbound at the Lake Butte des Morts bridge on Sunday at 8:42 a.m. The driver of a passing car lost control of the vehicle and hit the rear of the cruiser. Moments later, the driver of a second passing car lost control, and the cruiser was struck for the second time. The deputy was not in the cruiser. However, a motorist who was being assisted by the deputy was in the cruiser during both crashes. She sustained minor injuries.
The Winnebago County Sheriff Office’s cruiser likely was totaled, and the State Patrol cruiser was severely damaged.
Wisconsin’s Move Over Law is designed to protect law enforcement officers, tow truck operators, emergency responders, road maintenance workers, and utility workers doing their jobs on the side of roadways. The law requires drivers to shift lanes if possible or slow down in order to create a safety zone for a law enforcement vehicle, tow truck, ambulance, fire truck, highway maintenance vehicle or utility vehicle that is stopped on the side of a road with its warning lights flashing.
“When law enforcement officers, tow truck operators and others respond to assist vehicles that have crashed or slid off slippery roads, they face a tremendous danger of being struck by vehicles that have not moved over,” says State Patrol Sergeant Tim McGrath. “By obeying the Move Over Law, drivers can protect themselves, their passengers, our officers and others who work on highways from needless injuries and deaths.”
Additionally, the Wisconsin State Patrol and the Winnebago County Sheriff’s Office stopped 21 drivers for Move Over Law violations during a combined enforcement effort in Winnebago County on Thursday, November 13.