Tuesday, November 17, 2015

R.I.P. Trooper Jaimie Jursevics

Colorado State Patrol Trooper Jaimie Jursevics and child

As I sat in my police cruiser on the side of the highway with my emergency lights on and filing out paperwork,  I looked in the rearview mirror and saw the semi truck coming right at me. I braced for the impact.

The side of the large tractor trailer slammed into my police SUV, and I was violently pushed forward. My cruiser was no longer in my control as it became a runaway bumper car. I had no idea where or when I would eventually stop. I saw the tow truck driver in front of me as he stood in between me and his tow truck. 

Was I going to crush him? Auto glass and my report papers were flying all around me. My laptop (MDC) had come detached and hit me in the face. All I could do was to wait for the out-of-control ride to stop.

In slow motion, the tow driver jumped over the guard rail barely avoiding being crushed. Then, with a sudden, tremendous, bang, I struck the rear of the tow truck, pushing it into the guardrail and stopping my slide. I woke up in the hospital. 

This scene played out on a major US highway as I investigated an accident scene as a police officer. I had some back and facial injuries and the tow truck driver had a broken leg. All things considered, it could have been much worse.

I share this incident because I read recently about a trooper in Colorado being killed on the interstate by a drunk driver and another officer in Florida ( 22-year-old Officer Nicole Mood) who was in critical condition after another driver struck her patrol vehicle. 

   Officer Nicole Mood North Miami Beach Police

Reportedly, all 50 states now have "move over" laws for emergency vehicles which has been an improvement, but police vehicle-related deaths continue. 

According to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund (FLEOMF), as of this date, fatal police traffic accidents are up 30% from last year. 

Courtesy: National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund (NLEOMF.org)

My minor incident only left me with a few scars and a good "war story" but I know many officers have had on-duty accidents-many much more serious than mine. Many officers also know colleagues who were seriously injured or killed in vehicle accidents. 

As we mourn the death of Trooper Jaimie Jursevics and all the officers seriously injured or killed in vehicle accidents, let's remember to move over or slow down for all emergency workers (civilian or uniformed) on the side of the road.

 For emergency workers who make their living in the breakdown lanes, please be safe out there, you do important work to keep our roads clear and our communities safe. Thank you.


A Go Fund Me Support Fund for Trooper Jersevics' Survivors Has Been Set Up At http://dt.gofund.me/Trooper-Jursevics

Coming Next: 
The Police and Higher Education Debate 

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