A semi-truck smashed into a highway patrol car on I-90 while the patrolman was investigating an accident. Trooper Jordon Gulick was out of his patrol car west of Alberton near mile marker 64 on Jan. 18. It was a one vehicle rollover and Gulick has parked his car in the median with his emergency lights activated.
Conditions were icy with snow and freezing rain, when the Freightliner moved into the left lane to pass another semi. The driver lost control and struck the passenger side and rear of Gulick’s patrol car. The Frenchtown Fire Department was responding to the rollover and when they arrived the secondary accident had just occurred.
The Frenchtown Fire Department Facebook page posted, “thankfully the Trooper was away from his car and took cover. These are our worst nightmare calls when responders are on scene and encounter near misses. Each year first responders are injured and killed while doing their job on roadways. Please slow.”
The Montana Highway Patrol posted photos of Gulick’s vehicle and said they were thankful no one was hurt, “but many emergency responders have not been so lucky. Please remain alert and aware of your surroundings when driving, slow down and proceed with caution in inclement weather, and give emergency vehicles space.”
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, in a study spanning 20 years from 1992 through 2011, there was an estimated 4,500 accidents involving ambulances each year. Over a ten-year period, between 2000 and 2009, there were roughly 31,600 accidents involving fire vehicles. Also, from 1994 through 2002, there were approximately 300 fatalities which occurred during police pursuits.