8 Minnesota State Troopers Hit In 3 Days

By Steve Murphy, NewsRadio 830 WCCO and Reg Chapman, WCCO-TV

ST. PAUL (WCCO) — It’s happened again: a state trooper has been struck by a vehicle — the eighth such incident in the past few days.

A couple of those troopers spoke out to remind people how dangerous their jobs are and how drivers can help.

“You know, these things are just, to be perfectly honest, getting out of hand,” said Minnesota State Patrol Lt. Eric Roeske.

NewsRadio 830 WCCO’s Steve Murphy Reports

Roeske said the latest incident happened on I-694 at Silver Lake Road in New Brighton on Tuesday night. The trooper and a drunken driver were in a squad car when it was struck. The two were taken to the hospital with non life-threatening injuries.

“We’re really appealing to the public to pay attention to the driving conditions and what’s going on, on the side of the road. We don’t want to lose someone,” Roeske said.

The State Patrol also says 31 troopers have been hit since November. That’s up from the 13 troopers struck by vehicles during the same period last year.

Video from a traffic control camera captured the accident that happened just outside St. Cloud, and it shows how speed and not paying attention endangers the lives of those whose job it is to serve and protect.

“Too often people are driving too fast by the time they recognize there is a problem they try to break or move or they loose control and this is the result,” said Roeske.

Two days ago, Sgt. Dan Lewis stopped to help a stranded driver on Highway 52, south of Cannon Falls.

“I was sitting in the car and I did not see the car coming up behind me, at the time, I was entering some information into the computer when I was struck,” said Sgt. Dan Lewis.

The driver that hit his squad was going 65 miles per hour on glare ice but these accidents are not all weather related.

“To hear the same excuse over and over again, we weren’t visible, we weren’t seen, that they weren’t paying attention, it gets really old and really its unacceptable,“ said Trooper Andy DeRungs.

DeRungs was on the side of Interstate 35W north when he was hit.

“I began to do some paperwork on my computer and the next thing I know, I felt the hit,“ said DeRungs.

Minnesota does have a Move Over law. It’s called the “Ted Foss Law” in memory of a trooper who was killed.

When driving on a road with two or more lanes you must keep over one full lane away from a stopped emergency vehicle with flashing lights.

If you can’t move over a lane — slow down.

This week also marks the 33rd anniversary of the death of Trooper Roger Williams, who was killed by an out-of-control vehicle on Interstate 94 near Alexandria. He was a 26-year State Patrol veteran.

(TM and © Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

Slideshow: Squad Cars Of Troopers Hit

  • Word

    Put down the cellphones, make-up & cheeseburgers and just effin drive the car!! PAY ATTENTION

  • jon

    Are they parking their car way out into the lane or something not giving enough room to the other lanes of traffic thereby causing traffic to have to squeeze by the police? Why aren’t stranded motorists getting hit before the police arrive?

    • Mn Mom

      You must be insane. There is a law. It’s called the moveover law. You see a trooper with thier lights on, you move over into the other lane. Maybe you might have to even slow down… and heaven forbid, MERGE. Yeah, sure… I’m sure they are parking way out into the lane.

      • katz

        its never the cops fault

    • Melissa

      Yup! The troopers park in the highway because they like to take chances with their lives, duh!

    • thesuperman


      Are you stupid? The law states you must move over an entire lane if possible or slow WAY down. And with todays idiots text messaging and playing with a laptop in the passenger seat it is no wonder nobody has died yet.

    • Hopsdog

      No, the squad is not out in the driving lane. Slow the eff down! Driver’s are so inconsiderate. They think they are so important and always in a rush that the rules don’t apply to them. I am a cop and it is really frustrating that people aren’t paying attention. What ever the posted speed limit is doesn’t mean you have dirve it. You must take road condition into consideration.

    • MetroResident

      Yeah, that’s what they are doing Jon! They have nothing better to do than get into a life altering or crippling accident after its been drilled into them at the academy how to properly park their cars. If they are in the lane then their suppose to be there but most of the dash cams show they are on the shoulder. You’re completely clueless.

  • Kathy

    Ya know what gets me is whenever a trooper gets hit on the road they blame it on the other driver.

    I think its time for those troopers to take responsibility in their own wrong doing.

    • Char

      The officers have been parked (not moving). Lights going etc

    • Barb Summers

      It is the other drivers faluts….First off the driver he or she has stopped shouldn’t have done whatever it is they are getting stopped for and 2nd…move over…it’s a law…follow it. If you’ve notice troopers have started going up to the car they have stopped along the passagener side but with all the snow that can’t be done on most stops. Everybody just needs to be more careful…

    • Khan

      Are you kidding? A parked squad with it’s lights on and it’s the troopers fault some chuckle head hits him? It’s time the police start enforcing the pull over law.

    • Mn MOM

      Seriously Kathy- they are taking responsibility, EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. Hope you never need roadside assistance lady.

    • Anna

      I’d like to know what exactly do you think they are doing wrong????? They’re on the side of the road aressting stupid drunk drivers, or people not obeying the law– HOW are you saying that the trooper is at fault for this?!?!?!?!?

    • Pam

      Kathy….you can’t be serious. What in the world are they doing wrong other than trying to keep our highways safer? Get a grip!

    • PAUL

      Kathy if the Trooper is STOPPED with flashing warning lits on how can you NOT see them ? The Troppers are out there to SERVE AND PROTECT Maybe you and anyone else that can’t see them …………….OPEN YOUR EYES, and LOOK OUT FOR others !!!!!!!! or better yet take the BUS

    • Jake


  • Ryan

    thats right MOVE OVER!! i see it so much. i have seen 4 cops almost get hit by stupid people. you see a cop or a car on the side of the road slow down and move over. give them room.. last summer i blow out a tire and i about got hit 6 times in the 15 min it took me to fix it. that was on the side of hwy 10 in coon rapids.

  • Tammy

    Sounds like people in MN should learn how to drive.

    • Gary

      Tammy is proably the worst driver of all.

      • Bubba

        And Gary has almost masterered how to drive a Tonka Truck. Wow. You go Gary!!!

    • Steve

      People in Mn. Are the worst drivers… Their driving test is in a parking lot…Hahaha

      • PAUL

        the State of Minnesota only has three test sites that are courses all in theMinneapolis area in out state we test them on the real streets !

    • Ed

      Minnesota drivers can’t even learn to merge on to the freeway so no way can they be expected to avoid objects on the freeway.
      No matter if cops are stopped on the shoulder or in the middle of the road, drivers should be able to avoid hitting objects in their path, it’s a basic driving skill (much like merging) that Minnesota does not require people to master.
      If there ever was a reason to pull someones right to drive, this would be it.

      • Bubba

        Agreen 100% percent. No clue how to use lanes correctly or merge.

    • Ed

      That would be great but, if you need a law the requires people to not drive 70 MPH four feet from a person on the side of the road I doubt it’s possible.

  • Barb Summers

    Billy….your goofy. You should care…

  • Char

    Stop blaming the cops! They are out there helping us! I am not related to any officers, but we have all seen the jerks behind the wheels. Put the blame on who deserves it. Put down the cell phone, the make up or the ipod and drive the car.

    • Tara

      Thank you Char. I am the daughter of a veteran police officer and am horrified that people can say that they do not care about the people that are working hard to keep the rest of us safe.

  • Sean Bailey

    I always pull off on side stree if pulled over. I will never pull over on a highway. It is for my safety and the officers. They have questioned me for it but I don’t really give a damn; I am not going to die because I pulled over on a highway.

    • sandy

      Smart plan Sean and actually one everyone should use, including the troopers. It would actually help eliminate this issue on the highways.

      • Duh

        Thats all good in the metro but, drive outside the loop sometime and you will find exits can be a long way apart.

    • rosepickle

      I do the same, I never pull over on a main road. If I have to pull over on a highway or interstate, I pull over to where half my car is in the ditch. Not all MN drivers dont know how to drive. Its just people who think they need to multi-task while they drive

  • Bill

    There should be a law regarding:
    A. Carelessness of a driver when emergency vehicles lights are flashing….

    B. Over speeding, drunken driving, not observing the roadway….

    C. By now, a lot of drivers really don’t care….they speed when THEY WANT TO>

    D. Fine them GOOD.

    • PAUL

      we can fine people until we are blue in the face but we have a real problem with people driving with NO license and why because they just don’t care. Our law Enforcement wether it is city police,sheriff deputies or state troopers or border patrol , are doing a great job and in most cases unthankful at times, they deserve or cooperation and respect and insome cases they also could use our help! remember they are somebodie brothers,sisters,moms,dads,aunts and uncles os THANK YOU TO ALL LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICERS IN MINNESOTA!

  • Char

    When you need help, you would care. These officers were helping others involved in accidents.. Explain more how stupid your answer really is. You must have been on the other side of the law and that is why you are bitter. Wake up and smell the coffee.

  • Kris

    It’s probably the same people who drive slow in the left lane. How someone can’t see the LED lights on police car is beyond me! There are a LOT of idiots driving on our roads, I see them every day!

  • Brian

    How in the world do you hit someone on the side of the road!! PAY ATTENTION, SLOW DOWN AND MOVE OVER!!!!

  • An Adult

    Its very obvious that there are many mutants who sadly today, represent the human race. Just reading these pathetic remarks from an out of control, immature, drunkard society, makes me ill. Don’t expect it to get any better soon, with innocent children being spawned by those who have Little or No respect for life, or Authority. You can spare your idiot retorts to me also, because I will not be sitting on my ass waiting for them. Respect our State Troopers.

  • Mark

    For those folks leaving comments blaming the police; you should have your driving privledges permanently revoked. You’re too stupid to be behind the wheel of a moving vehicle!!

    • JamieinMN


    • PAUL

      I agree but unfortunely we have IDIOT lawyers who love getting people off !!! by a technacality!

  • opinionator

    Why do you make a statement like that with your full name attached? Who is stupid now? Stick to the topic, which in case you forgot, was law enforcement getting slammed by inattentive drivers.

  • Jo

    Troopers should be more careful??? Are you crazy!!
    They put their life on the line when handling an accident, because people want to see whats going on and don ‘t pay attention to their driving or slow down.
    Scott’s law is here for a reason.
    Unfortunately, there is no law for stupidity.
    Kathy, Billy, I hope you never need help from a trooper, you may have to eat your words.

  • Ramsey state trooper

    I am a police officer and I agree with a lot of these comments.

    Us police officers when pulling over a vehicle need to pull off the road a little more to give way for the other motorists.

    • Annoyed

      If you call yourself “Ramsey State Trooper” you are clearly not a Police Officer because Trooper’s aren’t Police Officers as your referred to yourself. They are licensed Peace Officers but are not the Police; hence their title.

      And, no Officer/Trooper/Deputy would ever agree that WE need to move over more.

      Go back to your real life please…

    • MetroResident

      “Us” police officers? I hope those troopers with their minimum 2 year degrees and most with 4 year degrees have better grammar than that going into the academy. You’re just a wannabe that didn’t make the cut.

  • sb

    I think they should use the digital signs on the highway to highlight the move over law. Afterall they remove the traffic info for the Amber Alerts, seems just as important to make drivers aware of this. I can’t believe how many people don’t move over even when they see other people in their lane doing it.

    • Ed

      Digital signs wouldn’t help, Minnesotans drive into flashing lights on the side of the road, one loose bulb on the sign is all it would take.

      • rosepickle


  • Bryan

    Why have I, and alot other drivers not know about the Ted Foss law. Not to sound stupid I have been driving in Minnesota for 30 years and this is the first time I have ever heard about it, it must be a new law, many people are unaware of this law including safe drivers. Maybe this law needs to be reintroduced or more publicly recognised so these officers don’t keep gettind hit.

    • Ed

      Bryan, Many new laws have been passed in the last 30 years or so, heads up they passed a DUI law too.
      Do you watch, read or listen to the news?
      If your that out of touch with driving laws it may be time to hang up the keys and take the bus.
      What really sounds stupid is Minnesotans need a law to keep driver from hitting objects in their path of travel.

    • Scott

      Are your actually suggesting that people need to be “reintroduced” to slowing down and allowing room when passing a police car with their lights flashing? It would seem to be common sense. The fact that a law was needed in the first place is simply and indication that people were not exercising common sense while driving and the result was the death of a police officer. I would like to see some statistics regarding how many motorists are actually ticketed under that law each year. I suspect that the number is rather low as the emergency workers are generally busy dealing with the accident, stranded driver, drunk driver, etc.

    • PAUL

      maybe you should read a newspaper or watch local new or better yet read yuou road signs there were many news articals about the law and even comercials explaining the law!

  • Tired of someone to blame game.

    So this trooper says he does not want to get hit so let’s this drunk drive on, Drunk then kills a family of four and then yu all sream where was the state patrol. Nice thinking buddy. Slow down, move over and start blaming the real person. The person who hit the State Patrol or another stalled car.

  • happy

    How are you supposed to move over when it is rush hour? Minnesota nice doesn’t work in those situation.

    • Duh

      If you can’t change lanes then by all means run the trooper down.
      It would be crazy to slow down to a safe speed to maneuver your 2000 pound vehicle till you got passed the them.

      • rosepickle

        Man that just sounds to damn complicating, Run the trooper over and serve time instead of movin over or slowin down. lol seriously Happy???

  • Bubba

    Minnesotans can’t merge, use roundabouts correctly and have no clue what to do when an off or on ramp is snowy or icy. Time to send them back to drivers ed.

    • PAUL

      Bubba unfortunatly these kids are tought just enough to pass our drivers test ,then they drive like the people who tought them how to drive ……with their head up there ass!! or worse like people from Wisconsin and Canada

  • Leslie Browne

    How about closing the lane next to the emergency lane about 1/4 mile that will divert traffic away from the emergency vehicle long before…

    • Ed

      So for every traffic stop they would need to close the road?
      Again, this would not help since Minnesotans can’t master the skill required to merge into another lane.
      How about drivers pay attention to the task of driving.

  • zee the reporter

    We need a law to if pulled over go to the next exit~and the 1st parking lot! zee reporting !

    • More Laws Please

      Yes, we need more laws.
      Have you ever driven out state?

  • Sue

    What they need is a law banning cell phones and anything else that gets in the way of people driving and they would have a lot less accidents so the Troopers wouldn’t have to be on the side of the highway.

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