HUDSON, Wis. (WCCO) — A police officer in Hudson narrowly escaped being killed after a pickup truck crashed into her squad car.
It happened Monday morning on the Interstate 94 bridge over the St. Croix River, as she stopped to help someone with a flat tire.
In both Wisconsin and Minnesota it is a law that drivers move over when they see an emergency vehicle with its lights on. Monday’s crash is a good reminder of why those laws were created.
The police chief tells WCCO that Officer Hilary Lundberg was not injured, but it’s only because she was not inside her squad car when a pickup truck travelling at a fast speed slammed into the back of her car.
The impact sent the officer’s car flying across four lanes of traffic on the 94 bridge, until it came to a stop.
Hudson Police Chief Marty Jensen says Lundberg was walking back to her car. She had stopped to help a driver trying to change a flat tire.
The squad was parked a good distance behind the stalled vehicle with emergency lights on.
Witnesses say the pickup driver made no attempt to slow down before the crash.
“It is dangerous. That’s why the law is in place. We ask people to slow down, move over, give us a break so that we can get these other people or whatever we’re doing out there off the interstate as quickly as possible,” Jensen said.
The Minnesota State Patrol is handling the investigation. Their report says 31-year-old Derik Sands of St. Paul was driving the truck.
Jensen says the crash could have caused other accidents when the squad car went flying across four lanes of traffic.
Also, it came within about 15 feet of hitting Lundberg.
Another driver captured video of the crash on his dash camera as well, which State Patrol will use in its investigation.
Witnesses told police the pickup driver was driving erratically before the crash. Investigators are hopeful the video captures what was happening leading up to the crash.