Reporting Rachel Slavik
MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The state trooper who was injured in a weekend accident spoke out about the crash that sent him to the hospital. The accident happened Saturday night on the I-494 on-ramp at Interstate 35W in Richfield.
Two state patrol officers shut down the ramp to help with an earlier crash. Investigators believe 39-year-old Maurice Blevins was driving drunk when he hit the two squad cars.
Trooper Allen Thill was sent to the hospital with minor injuries, but went home the same evening.
“Everyone is still living, let’s put it that way. I’m thankful for that,” Thill said.
While he wouldn’t give any details on his injuries, or how he’s feeling, his badly damaged squad car offered some idea of the injuries he sustained Saturday night.
“I didn’t see it coming. The impact just happened,” he said.
Thill and another officer were helping with a rollover. With flares down and lights flashing, both troopers blocked off an on-ramp and waited in their vehicles.
“It was just one loud crash, next thing I know, I was pushed forward in a cloud of dust,” he said.
Investigators say Blevins sideswiped one squad and then rear-ended Thill’s vehicle. Thill was inside the car with his seatbelt on.
“It definitely could have been a lot worse for everyone involved,” he said.
With an office that sits right next to speeding traffic, state troopers are always trained to protect themselves from danger.
“It’s an inherent part of the job. That risk is always there,” Thill said. “One thing we always tell people, at scenes of accidents, is to stay in the vehicle. It’s much safer.”
Three people, including two kids were in Blevins’ car when he crashed.
The children weren’t hurt, but a 20-year-old passenger also went to the hospital.