PRINCETON, W.Va. — The West Virginia State Police is looking for the driver who struck a trooper on the West Virginia Turnpike early Thursday morning.
State Police spokesman Lt. Michael Baylous said Trooper First Class D.R. White noticed some debris in the northbound lanes a few miles north of Princeton at 5:12 a.m. He put his cruiser’s emergency lights on, got out and went into I-77 to remove it. On his way back to the cruiser the passenger’s side mirror of a car struck him and knocked him to the ground. The driver didn’t stop.
Lt. Baylous said Trooper White may have lost consciousness. He had to crawl back to his cruiser and call for help. He was taken to an area hospital and later released.
“He’s complaining of some back pain and some general pain all over,” Lt. Baylous said. “It could have been a lot worse, we’re just counting our blessings.”
State law requires motorists to slow down and get over when they see police cruiser emergency lights.
“Some people don’t know that the code actually mentions slow down as well. Probably either one of those actions could have made this incident avoidable,” according to Baylous.
State Police are checking security video of the Turnpike to see if they can find the driver. Baylous said it would be best for that person to call the State Police.
“We’re not concerned at all at this time about what their excuse is. The best thing they can do is make it easier upon themselves and to show they are willing to step up and accept some sort of responsibility by contacting the West Virginia State Police,” Baylous said.