A police officer injured after being struck by a semi truck says that the truck driver was traveling too fast for the wintery conditions at the time.
The accident occurred on Wednesday, January 3rd, in Coloma, Michigan, but the dash cam footage wasn’t released to the public until Tuesday, January 9th.
In the clip, Lt. Wes Smigielski’s police cruiser is parked on the shoulder of Interstate 94 as he responds to an earlier wreck when it is suddenly struck from behind by a semi truck.
“I didn’t even know it was coming. It knocked the wind out of me. I was trying to get my breath back. I hit my head on top of the visor, and I felt pain in my back,” Smigielski said.
According to the Herald-Palladium, Smigielski sustained whiplash, as well as some other minor injuries in the accident, but no other injuries were reported.
“I was told he [the truck driver] was going 65,” Smigielski continued.
“He saw the accident and hit his brakes. His trailer wasn’t loaded so he was kind of light, so he lost control. He was going too fast for conditions, just like most of the others. Semis were passing me going 60, 65 mph. They should see my lights and slow down, but they don’t. They need to make their deadlines.”
“People in this day and age are in such a hurry to get to where they need to be, they’re going to get there when they need to get there, and it’s sad,” he added.
— News/Talk 94.9 WSJM (@WSJM) January 5, 2018
Smigielski has been a police officer for 14 years, but he admits he was nervous to respond to a wreck on that stretch of highway to begin with.
“I don’t like going out on the freeway. It’s horrible. It’s a death trap out there,” he said.
“People with these four-by-fours think they’re invincible. They like to fly by… Nobody does the move-over law, or slows down. [Motorists] see it as an inconvenience to them that somebody crashed and we’re trying to help them.”
“I wish people would stop and think for a minute,” he continued.
You’ve got officers out there who want to go home to their families. [But] I have no idea what can be done about it.”