Nortonville, Ky. (Hopkins County) – On November 2, 2020, at approximately 10:28 AM Kentucky State Trooper Ben Sawyer notified KSP Post 2 Madisonville that his vehicle was struck by a semi on I-69.
Preliminary investigation revealed Trooper Sawyer was on a work zone detail in a marked KSP Dodge Charger in the left lane, southbound of I-69. Trooper Sawyer had his emergency equipment activated while stopped behind a surveying crew, who were in the left lane of travel in front of him. Charles C. Treat, 64, of New Burnside, Illinois, was operating a 2020 Mack semi-tractor with tanker trailer in tow. Mr. Treat was traveling behind another semi-tractor in the right lane, southbound on I-69. Near the 103 mile marker, the semi in front of Mr. Treat began to slow down while entering the work zone. Mr. Treat changed to the left lane of travel to overtake the semi and observed Trooper Sawyer’s vehicle. Mr. Treat applied his brakes in an attempt to avoid a collision but was unsuccessful. The front of Mr. Treat’s vehicle struck the rear of Trooper Sawyer’s vehicle.
Trooper Sawyer was transported to Baptist Health Madisonville, where he was treated and released for minor injuries sustained in the collision. No other injuries were sustained as a result of the collision. The investigation is ongoing by Accident Reconstructionist Sergeant Nick Rice.
Kentucky State Police Post 2 reminds everyone to move over. Kentucky passed a law in 2003 requiring motorists to move to the adjacent lane when approaching an emergency or public safety vehicle. If it is impossible or unsafe to change lanes, motorists must slow down and use caution. Failure to comply can result in fines, jail time or both. When traveling through a work zone always be aware of the possibility of lane closures, traffic lane shifts, and reduced speeds.
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