CEDAR RAPIDS — Police are asking drivers to slow down, to allow adequate following distance and to move over when emergency vehicles are stopped on the road after a Cedar Rapids police vehicle was struck early Tuesday in the northbound lane of Interstate 380 just past the H-J Avenue NE exit.
The police SUV had stopped on the side of the freeway with its emergency lights activated to help a stalled vehicle shortly after 7 a.m.
An Iowa Department of Transportation Highway helper vehicle behind the police SUV also had its emergency lights on, with cones set on the roadway, police said.
A vehicle traveling north in the outside lane slowed as it was passing the chain of stopped vehicles, but it was rear-ended by a second vehicle, police said.
The first vehicle slid sideways into the police SUV, striking the back of the cruiser and then went into the ditch.
The second vehicle, police said, ricocheted back into traffic, toward the median, where it was T-boned by a third vehicle.
The officer who was in the SUV at the time of the collision went to a hospital for treatment of non-life threatening injuries and was released, police said. No other injuries were reported.
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In a Facebook post Wednesday, police included the cruiser’s dashcam footage as well as a message for motorists:
“The Iowa Department of Transportation Highway Helper, the driver of the vehicle with the mechanical issue, the police officer and other motorists on the interstate all have loved ones that want to see them come home safely,” the Facebook post read.
“The Police Department would like to remind motorists to slow down, leave adequate space between your vehicle and the vehicle in front of you and move over to another lane if you can safely do so when emergency vehicles or Highway Helper vehicles are parked on the side of the road.”
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