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Police warn against distracted driving after Chesterfield police car totaled by semi

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CHESTERFIELD, MO (KTVI) – Police hope images of a totaled squad car sends a message to drivers about distracted driving.

On a recent weekday afternoon, a semi-truck plowed into the front of a police vehicle at Chesterfield Parkway and Forest Trace Drive.

“The driver [of the semi] thought he had a right of way and went through a solid green light and struck another vehicle. It just happened to be one of our police vehicles,” Chesterfield Police Lt. Mike Thompson said.

The images of the crash are dramatic. The truck missed crushing the officer by a few inches.

“Oh, it could have been devastating,” Thompson said.

The officer luckily suffered some bruises and no serious injuries. He managed to crawl out of his vehicle through the passenger side and radio for help, Thompson said.

Police say the incident is a reminder for drivers to pay attention and focus on the road.

“There are so many distractions nowadays,” he said. “With cellphones. With in-car navigation systems. With people in your car. You can drive around; you’ll see putting on makeup, reading, eating. A lot of people are not putting their full attention, their full focus on driving.”

In this case, Thompson said, it was a crash that was avoidable.

“And that’s why we call them crashes. We don’t call them accidents; because accidents can be avoided. A crash is where you made a conscious effort – you either weren’t paying attention, you weren’t putting your full focus on driving that car.”