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Dallas officer, bus driver hospitalized after overnight crash

One of the most dangerous duties a police officer can perform is traffic patrol. An accident or vehicle breakdown in a busy traffic area or along a dark highway can place the law enforcer and anyone else occupying the roadway in danger.

A pedestrian-vehicle accident involving a possibly fatigued driver, a police officer and the operator of a tour bus hospitalized two people in Dallas recently. The car accident happened in the middle of the night, around 2:30 a.m., after a bus broke down on U.S. 175, the S.M. Wright Freeway.

The accident was damaging enough but could have been far worse had any of the passengers remained on the disabled tour bus. As it was, two people were hurt including an officer investigating bus breakdown and the bus driver who was supplying the officer with the details.

According to official documents, a Dallas officer came upon a tour bus stopped in the center of U.S. 175. The 20-passenger vehicle had broken down in traffic. The officer activated the patrol car’s flashing, emergency lights and parked protectively behind the bus. The patrolman left his vehicle to talk with the bus driver.

The bus was emptied of its passengers, who waited along the roadside. The officer and tour bus driver talked near the vehicles in the middle of the highway.

An oncoming pickup truck failed to move around the breakdown site and slammed into the rear of the police car. The crash shoved the patrol vehicle into the empty tour bus, pushing the coach left into the patrolman and bus driver.

Both accident victims suffered severe leg injuries and were transported to Baylor Hospital. The tour bus operator also sustained injuries to his hip and was scheduled for surgery. An update of the victims’ medical conditions was unreported. The pickup driver was not hurt. None of the passengers waiting on the side of the road was affected by the crash.

Authorities conducted a DWI test on the pickup driver and determined that alcohol use did not contribute to the crash. The driver was not arrested.

Fatigue is being considered as a possible cause for the injury accident.

Source: nbcdfw.com, "Officer and Bus Driver Injured in Overnight Accident," Elvira Sakmari, April 21, 2012

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