Boise Police Department
News Release

Michael F. Masterson
Chief of Police


Contact: Lynn Hightower
Communications Director
570-6180

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Saturday, April 11, 2009

04-11-09 Driver Collides with Patrol car while Texting

04-11-09 Driver Collides with Patrol car while Texting

    Boise, April 11, 2009 - The driver who collided with a Boise Police patrol car on the interstate tonight admitted to officers he was texting just before the collision occurred. The patrol car was parked with it's emergency lights on and the officer was not inside the vehicle when it was hit. Damage to the patrol car is considerable. The driver who hit the patrol car is hospitalized.

    "Tonight's collision sent one driver to the hospital, and had anyone been inside the officer's car, we would have had other, very serious injuries," said Captain Randy Roper of the Boise Police Department. 

    "Police officers know working on our roadways is dangerous, but they do to keep the roads safe for the rest of us, like in this case, arresting a drunk driver. We just can't stress enough, pay attention to the roadway and watch for emergency lights, when you see them, slow down or move over. Your safety and an officer's life may depend on it." said Capt. Roper.

    What Happened- DUI Arrest: at 10:10 p.m. tonight, Saturday, April 11th, three Boise Police patrol officers had parked their vehicles on the right side of westbound Interstate 84 assisting in the arrest of a DUI driver. A citizen had suspected the DUI and called 911. The officers caught up to the suspect vehicle just west of Eagle Rd. After investigating, officers arrested the driver for DUI. One officer had left the scene taking the DUI suspect to the Ada County Jail. The two other officers stayed on the interstate with the suspect vehicle waiting for a tow truck.

    Collision: Both officers were out of their vehicles, both vehicles had emergency lights flashing, when a white Chevy Corsica rear-ended the first patrol vehicle. Neither officer was hurt. The driver of the Corsica, a 37 year old man from Nampa was transported to the hospital with what appeared to be non-life threatening injuries. The preliminary investigation shows the Corsica driver also had a blood alcohol level, but it did not test over the legal limit.

    Officers on scene say the damage to the patrol car is considerable, and it's extremely fortunate neither an officer or suspect was in the vehicle at the time of the collision or injuries would have potentially been severe. 

    The officers car that was hit was parked at an angle, so it was not pushed into the other patrol car or the DUI suspect vehicle. Officers are trained to park their cars at a slight angle to protect officers, other citizens, and other vehicles should a collision occur. More police officers are killed in traffic collisions than any other type of incident.

    Move Over Law: Officers want to remind motorists of Idaho's "Move Over" law. The law requires motorists to slow down, or if possible, change lanes to the left when approaching parked emergency vehicles. The law is meant to protect police officers and other emergency responders while working on Idaho highways.

    Don't Drive Distracted: Officers also say tonight's collision is a reminder not to drive distracted. Officers advise motorists not to text while driving, as texting can distract a driver for an extended time. 

    Investigation: Idaho State Police are investigating the collision. No charges have been filed at this time.