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Trooper Vehicles Struck Near Sioux Falls

South Dakota Highway Patrol
(photo courtesy of South Dakota Public Safety)

Two South Dakota Highway Patrol vehicles were struck Thursday morning by other vehicles as troopers responded to traffic issues during snowfall that created slippery roadway conditions on highways in the Sioux Falls area.

According to a press release from the South Dakota Department of Public Safety, Trooper Dave Knutson was assisting on a call for service on Interstate 29 near mile marker 84 when another vehicle lost control and struck the back of his patrol vehicle. There were no injuries.

In the second incident, Trooper Jason Husby was traveling northbound at reduced speed on I-29 near mile marker 23 when a southbound vehicle lost control, slid across the median and struck the left rear of the patrol vehicle. There were no injuries. Both crashes happened shortly after 10 a.m.

Incidentally, Trooper Knutson was in a vehicle that was struck by another motorist two years ago. After that incident, Trooper Knutson was one of three Highway Patrol troopers who described being struck on the highway as part of a campaign to make the traveling public aware of the state’s Move Over Law.

The law requires motorists to move over and slow down when passing any vehicle displaying amber or yellow flashing signal lights. The law is intended to protect vehicles stopped on the shoulder of roadways from being hit by passing vehicles. Protected vehicles include law enforcement, emergency response vehicles, service vehicles and any motorist experiencing mechanical troubles.

On interstates and other highways with two or more lanes traveling in the same direction as the stopped vehicle, motorists approaching must merge into the lane farthest from the stopped vehicle and proceed with caution. On two-lane highways, motorists must slow to a speed at least 20 mph less than the posted speed limit. If the posted speed is 20 mph or less, motorists must slow to 5 mph.  A violation of the Move Over Law is a Class 2 misdemeanor, punishable by a fine of $200 and/or 60 days in jail.

A Winter Weather Advisory has been posted for the Sioux Falls and surrounding area through 9 a.m. Friday.  The expectation is that 2-5 inches of snow will fall through the course of the storm.

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