FRANKENMUTH (WJRT) - (12/05/18) - In the blink of an eye a Michigan State Police trooper found himself hurt and in the hospital after helping multiple people who had been involved in a car accident.
It's instances like that which illustrate how important new safety advances are for troopers.
One of those advances is new lighting in the 2018 police vehicles.
"If you look behind you when you're being stopped by a police car - when you initially activate the lights and the vehicle is moving all the lights flash rapidly, red and blue - the strobe on top. It all flashes. Once the officer puts the vehicle in park they go from a flashing mode to a steady mode behind," said Special First Lt. David Kaiser.
Trooper Steven Moore believes lighting may have played a factor in the crash that injured him on the night of November 13. He was called to a multi-vehicle accident on I-75 south just south of M-84 in Bay County. Two vehicles were on one side of the highway and one was on the other side. Trooper Moore had already helped one person when he was about to cross the highway in his patrol car to help the other two.
"So I wasn't able to get across as fast as I would have liked and as I was sitting there waiting for traffic to clear so I could move across to the other side, I looked up in my rear view mirror and all I saw were headlights right behind me," Trooper Moore said.
He was hit from behind by a pickup truck but still tried to assist everyone else because he was the only emergency responder on scene.
Despite having his lights and emergency equipment on, he says the driver was going too fast - 65 miles per hour - in icy conditions.
"They had moved over but I believe when they saw my lights they panicked and instead of safely slowing down maybe put an input on the steering wheel, brake pedal and lost control, which caused them to cross the two lanes of travel and then impacted me," Moore said.
Kaiser says the new lights help both motorists and troopers.
"Once the vehicle is put into park the flashing lights you see in the front - the wig wags - on the headlights that flash from side to side - that bright light that often blinds you - if you're being stopped - once the trooper puts the vehicle in park those lights will quit flashing so it enables the trooper when he's walking back to his vehicle to not be blinded by those lights as well," Kaiser said.
Trooper Moore was hospitalized and treated for a concussion and knee and neck sprains. Thankfully he is fine now - but this is what MSP wants to avoid. One way they're doing that is through tweaking the lighting on police vehicles. The driver who hit him was cited for careless driving.