APD Urge Drivers to Slow Down at Accident Scenes

Anchorage Police are reminding motorists to give first responders plenty of room on the roadways after an injury incident of an officer as he responded to an accident last month.

APD says that on December 17th, an APD officer responded to a rollover accident on the New Seward Highway near O’Malley. At the scene, several other vehicles were in the ditch on the other side of the highway as well as other emergency vehicles with lights activated.

While the officer was out of his patrol car, a pickup traveling on the highway, hit the patrol car. The pickup pulled over after the collision, and the officer went to talk to the driver through the passenger side window. As the officer was talking to the pickup truck driver, another vehicle, lost control on the roadway, and rear-ended the pickup.

The pickup impacted the officer, who was thrown under the truck. APD says the officer “suffered deep tissue bruising, and a torn ligament in his shoulder.” They report that he is due to have surgery this coming week for his injury, and should be back to full duty by May.

APD reports that the incident could have been avoided if the drivers has slowed down and abided by “Alaska’s Move Over Law,” which states, “if a driver is on a roadway with two or more lanes travelling in the same direction, and a vehicle with emergency lights activated is stationary on the side of the road, the driver is to move over if it’s safe to do so.  If changing lanes is not possible, the driver is required to slow their speed so they may pass the emergency vehicle safely.”