Driver cited in crash that hit trooper assisting disabled vehicle on I-55

Driver cited in crash that hit trooper assisting disabled vehicle on I-55

RUDDOCK, LA (WAFB) - If viewing this story on a mobile device or in an email, click the link for additional features -

Louisiana State Police said a driver was cited in connection with a crash that injured a trooper and closed I-55 North near Ruddock for several hours Friday.

Officials said a female trooper was hit while assisting the driver of a vehicle that had broken down change a tire. They added that she was in the right lane and was walking along the shoulder when her unit was rear-ended by truck.

Investigators said the impact caused the trooper's unit to spin and hit her.

They added that the driver of the truck, 28-year-old Shane Matecum, of Tickfaw, was cited with careless operation.

Officials said she was flown to the University Medical Center in New Orleans by helicopter with moderate injuries. The trooper is now in stable condition.

"The main thing is she's alert, she's conscious, she can tell you how much pain she's in," said Col. Mike Edmonson with LSP. "I can tell you from my left hand here, which was holding her left hand, she's got a hell of a grip on her, but you can tell she still scared. She's trying to tell me exactly what happened, and the bottom line is she was doing her job."

Officials said that the trooper had both emergency lights and flares activated to warn traffic.

"This is a reminder to everyone to please obey the 'Move Over' law," Louisiana State Police posted on its Facebook page. "If you see an emergency vehicle stopped on the shoulder, please reduce your speed and change lanes to give first responders room to operate safely. Following this law will help keep first responders safe while they are helping those in need on our highways!"

State Police thanked everyone for the support and kind messages and are asking for people to keep the trooper in their thoughts and prayers.

The interstate was shut down around 12 p.m. Friday and reopened around 4:30 p.m.

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