As motorists, we trust that law enforcement officials will work hard to secure our safety on the road. After all, they're tasked with preventing unsafe and irresponsible behavior behind the wheel. It's almost unthinkable, then, that a state trooper could rear-end a motorcycle on the highway. In a recent accident, however, that's exactly what happened.
The accident occurred on the evening of Aug. 17. Recently released police video shows the trooper driving his cruiser down a straight road at uniform speed. The motorcycle, which had its lights on, approaches quickly in the video; they are traveling much more slowly than the cruiser. The cruiser then closed the distance, striking the motorcycle from behind.
The rider and his passenger, a husband and wife, were thrown onto the cruiser's hood, then to the ground. The trooper pulled over, then reversed his cruiser back into the road to block traffic. Both rider and passenger were seriously injured; they were taken to the hospital, where they still remain today.
Undoubtedly, the couple has amassed enormous hospital bills related to their month-long treatment and recovery. They have not stated whether they will seek a personal injury lawsuit to compensate them for these expenses.
The Ohio State Trooper was apparently a model officer, winner of the 2012 State Trooper of the Year award. He claims he did not see the motorcycle as he approached; indeed, the video does not show the officer slowing or swerving at all until after the collision.
A grand jury is currently considering whether to push for criminal charges against the state trooper. The State Highway Patrol has not yet commented on the incident.
Cleveland Scene, "VIDEO: State Trooper Rear-Ends Motorcycle, Nearly Kills Ohio Couple" Alaina McConnell, Sep. 13, 2013