Minn. Trooper Hit While Helping Driver Recounts Crash

By James Schugel, WCCO-TV

— At least 23 Minnesota State Patrol troopers have been hit this winter, more than double the amount of troopers who were hit all of last winter.

Lieutenant Chris Edstrom became the 22nd statistic when he was hit on the shoulder of Interstate 35W in Forest Lake in mid-January.

“You know, I had been there five or six minutes. I had been watching my rearview mirror, and I knew it was a bad curve,” he said about that afternoon.

Edstrom had just shown up to help a stranded driver who flew into the ditch, just north of the Interstate 35W and Interstate 35E interchange.

For some reason, he recalled, he had a strange feeling that he might get hit while sitting on the shoulder, so he made sure he put on his seatbelt.

He watched the driver he had stopped to assist get out of his car and walk towards the squad car, and that’s when he got hit.

“You can actually hear the squeal from the car,” Edstrom said as he watched the dashcam video.

The video looks straight ahead, and then goes black when the squad gets hit.

Edstrom thinks the driver just lost control on the overpass and maybe hit some icy patches before hitting him.

“I was surprised to see how bad the car was, because it didn’t seem like I got hit that hard,” Edstrom said.

Edstrom is driving a spare squad car while his vehicle gets fixed. He walked away from the crash with a sore neck, but was back to work the next day.

Edstrom’s car got pushed a couple feet forward, and now he’s pushing drivers to be more careful on the roads knowing more snow and ice are on the way. The next time he’s helping a stranded driver, he hopes the outcome isn’t nearly as dangerous.

“It’d be nice if it never happened again,” he said.

  • JamieinMN

    Slow down and pay attention. It’s REALLY simple people. If you can’t do this, you should NOT be behind the wheel of ANY motor vehicle.

  • JamieinMN

    Are you an idiot??!?!?! Or just plain stupid? He was ON THE SHOULDER!

    • Julie

      @JamieinMN, Are you on drugs, i think you are the stupid one, get off your drug kick.

      • JamieinMN

        Yes, I’m on drugs…..Because Jen and I are the ONLY rational people commenting here. Pretty sure you are all the SAME poster…

        • JiminMN

          JamieinMN, I’m hoping you are just trying to get a rise out of people. You surely don’t understand everything that goes along with being in law enforcement.

  • j

    helping the dumb ass driver that went into the ditch

  • Jimmy P

    Apparently (or obviously) Janet can’t read. The article specifically states the officer was sitting on the shoulder. The Ted Foss law was passed for a reason, that reason being “MOVE OVER AND SLOW DOWN” !!! I hope and pray that Janet IS NOT a licensed driver since its readily apparent that she can’t even read, much less drive a motor vehicle. You better stick to a trike Janet! What a bonehead !

  • JamieinMN

    So he’s just supposed to leave a stranger to tend to their vehicle ALONE. Really?!?!?!! Is that what law enforcement is supposed to do? No. They’re here to serve and protect and they risk their lives EVERY SINGLE DAY for each and every one of us.

    • Rick

      You just don’t get it JamieinMN, do you?

      • JamieinMN

        ha. I’m sorry I’m smart. We just can’t fix your stupid.

  • Jen

    How rude and disrespectful can you people be?! This is a state trooper who on a regular basis goes out in the weather that no one else wants to be in just to keep the roads safe and help those that get hurt. They don’t get paid what they should and clearly don’t get the respect they deserve, especially from all of you! Remember, when it is New Years, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and other holidays many of you are out celebrating with your families and friends, these Troopers are working to keep us safe.
    It’s very sad that you can’t appreciate that, instead you belittle them. So sad…

    • JamieinMN

      Worrrrd. What imbeciles these people are.

  • Flanders

    Drivers just need to open thier eyes in general. It’s not an officers fault for trying to help a stranded civilian. There could have been kids in that car. What is the matter with people.

  • Keith

    Nobody can criticize him for helping a stranded motorist. But he should have ordered the motorist to get in his car right away and left the scene immediately. Every additional second on the shoulder puts both at more risk. The real idiots are the policemen who pull people over on the left shoulder, or on any shoulder on the interestate for that matter. A highly dangerous practice that should banned. They should make the driver go to the nearest exit, then pull them over.

    • MetroCop

      A good idea, in theory, Keith. But like so many theories, once put into practice, the novelty fades fast. I’ve been in law enforcement several years in an area that routinely takes me out to the freeway. Whether it be for enforcement reasons or a motorist assist, remaining on the freeway does serve a purpose. Yes, sometimes we get hit (been there, done that). It comes with the territory. And in a sense, you’re right. When feasible, we like to move incidents off the freeway. Unfortunately, it just isn’t possible. The other day while driving down the freeway, I had an old car driving in front of my squad. Suddenly the wheel fell off and sparks flew. Luckily we made it to the shoulder. But like it or not, we are on the shoulder of the freeway. Stick to what you know…and leave the law enforcement to those who are trained to do it. And don’t post on these things just because you’re bitter about your recent citation/arrest. P.S. You’re welcome!! : )

  • Jen

    That was a little uncalled for, don’t you think? If you were in the ditch or in an accident, you’d likely appreciate the help. Seriously, people, show some respect.

  • Jen

    That was a little uncalled for, don’t you think? If you were in the ditch or in an accident, you’d likely appreciate the help. Seriously, people, show some respect. This man has a family and people who care about him. How would you like it if someone wished YOU to get injured?!

  • BKinMN

    If you would look closely at the video, you would see the car ahead of the car that hit the State Trooper, spunout on the right shoulder. The car that hit the Trooper’s car was also in the RIGHT lane, overcorrected, and unfortunately slid onto the left shoulder, where the Trooper was assisting the driver stick in the ditch. Law enforcement give their lives to their job. To serve & protect. Slow down, and pay attention to the road conditions. Civility people….civility.

  • Get it right

    Jen, I understand you are a cop groupie and what not, but enough. The cops are not always right and it is fair game to criticize them especially when they put themselves into the news.

    As for MetroCop, it is cops with attitudes like yours that lead to people hating the cops. Little wonder more and more of you are hurt or killed each year. Try something new, trying being a bit humble and not a know it all smart ***. Maybe someone wont be so apt to shove your flashlight up your *** the next time you become holier than thou with them.

    • Jen

      @ Get it right: No, I am anything but a “cop groupie.” In general, I don’t always trust them, and often am suspicious around them. However, Lt. Edstrom is a State Trooper. I know him and I know that he is truly a very down to Earth guy who is just trying to keep people safe on the roads. Not to mention, no one deserves to be wished to get injured, as someone suggested on here.

    • MetroCop

      As for Get it right, yes I’m sure you’re correct. My attitude is the problem. I admit…I am always vigilant and rarely wrong about the laws I’m charged with enforcing. You guys who spend your time watching NCIS make sure to tell me the next time I over-step my bounds…because you know your rights. Truth be told, it’s been a privilege to serve the citizens of this great state. But we cops know there will ALWAYS be a portion of the population that hates us. Strangely enough, this is the same portion of the population we like to look for. After all, what law-abiding citizen would have reason to hate the police?

      I hope we meet someday, sir. Unfortunately, neither of us will know if/when it ever happens. But rest assured…the tough guys and big talkers (like the ones who talk about shoving a cop’s flashlight in certain places) are alwasy the first ones to start crying ; )

      • Jen

        Well said MetroCop! Very similar to what I tell the kids I work with–you shouldn’t be worried or afraid of getting into trouble if you didn’t do anything wrong!

        Thanks for all you do. Many state employees don’t get the credit they deserve.

  • MNgirl

    Metrocop…. I just want to say thank you for all that you and every other law enforcement officer does in this state. I also don’t think we get paid to do what we do, when its 40 below or 90+ above were the ones out there protecting and serving, and I would have to say with my experience in LE there is a great deal of safety and it would be great if we could get people off the freeway to make a traffic stop or a motorist assist. I also think that the TED FOSS move over law needs to be pushed alot harder. I feel its more dangerous to have a stranded vehicle just sitting on the side of the road when you have a squad car with emergency lights… don’t tell me you cant see them from a long ways away, I understand he was around the corner and maybe it was a bad spot… but in law enforcement there is alot of bad spots, not only on traffic stops but in all areas. People that aren’t in law enforcement don’t understand “our” world, and if they wanna whine about it to make themselves feel better go ahead, its not the first time we have heard people complain about us.

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