Missouri State Trooper struck and seriously injured on I-55

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ST. LOUIS COUNTY (KTVI) - A Missouri state trooper is in serious condition, and at least two others are also hurt after a car plowed into the scene of a routine traffic stop on Interstate 55 in south St. Louis County.

It happened about 8:30 Sunday morning. Highway Patrol officials say Trooper Jeremy Potocki had pulled a car over on 55 southbound between Union and Reavis Barracks. The trooper was outside the car, on foot, talking to the person he had stopped when a Volkswagen crashed into the back of the trooper’s SUV.

Nikki Stoehr was watching from the side of the highway as investigators looked over the scene. One friend was still there, another was among those hospitalized.

“They were the ones being pulled over, then, I don’t know, a car came up behind them, I guess texting or something and nailed them and then the cop car went flying into his car.”

Highway Patrol spokesman, Sgt. Al Notham, says they don’t know what led to the crash just yet, whether it was texting or some other potential distraction.

“I do know that we are looking at why he came over and struck him,” he said, “if there was some kind of other thing at work there. That is under investigation.”

The driver of the car Michael Haley was airlifted to an area hospital. The trooper and at least one other person were rushed out by ambulance. The trooper was listed in serious condition at last report. There was no word on the two other people.

Notham says the one thing this makes crystal clear is the danger officers face, even in a situation as routine as a stop at 8:30 on a Sunday morning.

“We work on the side of the highway and we’re just feet away from cars traveling 60-70 miles per hour every day. So it’s a dangerous place to work and that’s why we want everyone to obey the traffic laws and one of them is yield to a stationary emergency vehicle.”

The driver of the Volkswagen, Michael Haley, 43, of Arnold, Missouri was charged late Sunday afternoon with 2 counts of assault second degree and driving while intoxicated.

9 comments

  • Larry Hart

    There are more officers/troppers that are killed by vehicles in the US. People need to move over!

  • Dazzette

    This is why I slow down and switch lanes I possible if I see a cop on the side of the road. Praying for him and the other people who were hurt. Off topic, but was this article hard to read for anyone else? In one paragraph, they go on and on about whether or not the driver of the Volkswagen was texting and if that was the reason for the crash, and then they go on to say he was charged with driving while intoxicated. Um, I would say that was the reason behind the accident…

  • ByeByeToTheRite

    I always move over and slow down when passing a police officer on the side of the road with lights flashing.

    That being said, from my observations, it would also help if the dumb cops would get the hell over farther actually out of the traffic lane and out of the way! When they pull somebody over for some trivial thing, they are also risking the lives of the people they pulled over. Maybe if they just didn’t have that fat-headed, arrogant attitude that they can do whatever they want would help. Of course, smart folks know this is America, and yes they can do whatever they want, because they’re cops! Unfortunately, sometimes when they just do whatever they want, they pay for it, like in this case.

    Oh, well, this driver is toast and may as well hang it up – he’s convicted of DWI already! Note that’s NOT like the big rig truck driver who hit a cop is a very similar incident, but of course then it took months of investigation to determine, because that was a tough call: privileged big business vs. privileged cop, so who to blame? That one took a while, but I believe they still found the truck driver liable, even though the police car was about 3 feet in the traffic lane.

    • MADD Driver

      this has nothing to do with “dumb cops” This has to do with stupid people deciding that they can drink and drive without causing any damage or harm to others. This is a hazard to every single person on the road, and in my opinion is just as deadly as loading and pointing a gun at someone.

  • D White

    BYEBYETOTHERITE…Are u kidding me? Missouri State Hwy Patrol are some of the most Professional people in any job force. Some city and some county officers may have that ‘i can do anything’ attitude. But officers are not all alike. A person got hit by a drunk driver while trying to keep our hwys safe and u put some stupid comment about an arrogant officer! Do u know the officer that got hurt? I bet not! God bless the officer and the other people hurt in this accident. And by the way, move to the lane to the left to keep from hitting the people on the shoulder. Isn’t this the law? Yes it is.

    • nowhere freeway

      This is a typical posting from byebye – stupid to the max. he’ll use any excuse to denigrate the police, our military and anyone he disagrees with.

  • Eric Draven

    dumb reporter… no such thing as a routine traffic stop… that’s the first thing they teach you in police work.

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