Most people in Columbia, Missouri, should understand that any accident on the Interstate can cause serious injuries. As a culture, we may commonly think that motorists and passengers of vehicles would be the main victims of an accident on a highway or interstate. But, construction workers, emergency responders and others who may be near the traffic lanes (such as a stranded motorist who has exited a vehicle) can be in harm’s way if a passing driver loses control of a vehicle on the interstate.
A series of accidents along a stretch of Interstate 70 left motorists and emergency responders injured Saturday. A single car accident occurred at roughly 3:20 in the morning. The car hit the guardrail before rolling over. The driver suffered minor injuries in that first accident.
But things grew worse later in the day after a second vehicle hit a safety cable along the median of westbound I-70 Saturday afternoon. The car apparently rose up onto the guardrail before flipping over into the eastbound lanes. Emergency responders arrived to tend to the second accident and were in harm’s way when a westbound motorist lost control of his car and crossed into the eastbound lanes at the site of the guardrail accident.
Authorities say that the rogue Nissan first struck a firefighter and a trooper from the Missouri State Highway Patrol who were working the afternoon accident scene. The Nissan continued on and slammed into the Ford that had been involved in the median crash. That car struck two other firefighters, while one tried to jump out of the way. The firefighter who tried to evade the Ford suffered serious injury.
He and another of the firefighters who suffered serious injury were taken to a Columbia, Missouri hospital. The three other emergency responders suffered minor to moderate injuries and were transported to a local hospital.
Source: Marshall News, “UPDATE: 5 emergency personnel injured in Interstate 70 accident, 2 previous accidents in same location,” Kelsey Alumbaugh, Dec. 21, 2013