Two Missouri Highway State Patrol troopers are recovering from injuries they suffered when a tractor-trailer veered onto the shoulder of an interstate in St. Louis County and struck their cruisers.
Missouri Highway State Patrol trooper Al Nothum told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that crash investigators haven’t determined why the commercial truck driver lost control of the vehicle and plowed into the idling cruisers. The truck, with a CR England logo on the trailer, overturned after the collision.
Trooper Nothum told Fox News 2 that the troopers, Michael Broniec, 50, and Derek Mason, 31, pulled far off the highway onto the shoulder of I-70 near the I-270 intersection. One of the troopers got into the other trooper’s cruiser to discuss something when the tractor-trailer struck the rear of the cruiser they were sitting in.
The troopers were taken to different local hospitals for treatment of their crash-related injuries, which Trooper Nothum said were non-life-threatening. The condition of the truck driver, 47-year-old Matthew Smith, was not known, but Trooper Nothum told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that the injuries were not considered serious.
Both of the cruiser vehicles were completely demolished and described as a “total loss.”
Investigators haven’t said how fast Mr. Smith’s truck was travelling when it struck the cruisers, nor have they determined whether he attempted to brake.
Some of the potential factors crash investigators look for evidence of are driver distraction, such as texting and driving or other use of a smartphone or electronic device; fatigue, which could cause the driver to fall asleep behind the wheel; medical conditions that could cause the driver to lose consciousness; drug or alcohol use; weather and road conditions; and mechanical or tire problems that could lead to loss of control.