A California Highway Patrol officer was injured this morning in a collision on Interstate 80 in Placer County as he attempted to use his patrol vehicle to protect a state Department of Transportation worker retrieving debris from the roadway.
About 11: 25 a.m., a Caltrans worker was stopped on the right shoulder of westbound I-80, west of Ophir Road to retrieve debris from the slow lane, according to a CHP news release. An Auburn-area CHP officer was approaching the area and saw the Caltrans worker preparing to remove the debris. The officer activated his vehicle's rear emergency lights and positioned the patrol vehicle in the slow traffic lane to protect the Caltrans worker, CHP officials said.
As the patrol vehicle slowly approached the Caltrans worker's location, a red 2012 Subaru Outback, driven by an 86-year-old Auburn woman, was approaching from behind at about 65 mph and did not slow down, officials said. The officer saw the Subaru rapidly approaching and accelerated forward, turning the patrol vehicle in a direction to prevent the Subaru from striking the Caltrans worker.
CHP officials said the Subaru continued forward, without braking, and struck the rear of the officer' s vehicle, causing major rear-end damage to the patrol vehicle and minor injuries to the CHP officer.
The Caltrans worker dove toward the front of his vehicle to avoid being struck.
Neither the Caltrans worker nor the driver of the Subaru was injured, the CHP reported.
The officer, whose name was not released, was transported to Sutter Roseville Medical Center for treatment of his injuries.
The CHP reminds drivers to be aware of constant changes in traffic conditions and possible road hazards. When they observe emergency vehicles on the roadway and shoulder, motorists should slow down and move over when safe to do so.