Most states have some sort of "Move Over" law requiring drivers to change lanes or slow down when passing emergency vehicles that are stopped on the side of the road, and the reason for these laws is to prevent what happened to Maryland state trooper David Avila. He had just pulled over a Hyundai Santa Fe when a semi truck veered onto the shoulder, hit the parked police car and clipped Avila, who was standing next to the pulled-over vehicle.

The incident happened on June 14, and it was all captured on the cruiser's dash camera. After being hit by the truck, Avila staggered over to the guard rail before collapsing. There is no audio in the YouTube video, but you can hear what happened in the video on the Today Show by scrolling down. Just seconds before he was hit, you can hear the truck running over the rumble strips, and even after he was injured, Avila remained aware of the situation by telling the motorist to remain in his vehicle. He had injuries to his shoulder, back and leg, and the patrolman remains in physical therapy.

On top of the failure of the semi truck to move over, the motorist in the Hyundai also stopped on a part of the shoulder that was very narrow, making the situation even more dangerous for Avila. As for the truck driver, he has been identified as William Riegel, Jr. of Pennsylvania. Riegel was subsequently fined $100 for negligent driving and failing to obey the move over law.

Scroll down to watch the video and the news report of the incident. Warning: the video is a bit graphic, as it shows the trooper being clipped by the truck.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 59 Comments
      BB79826
      • 2 Years Ago
      It's awful and the truck probably could have moved over more, but I gotta agree - in situations like these, the cop has to stay on the passenger side. Any time I've been in a car pulled over on the highway, no matter how much room has been left on the driver's side, the cop went to the passenger side.
      transam
      • 2 Years Ago
      The $100 fine is a joke. As for the Santa Fe driver stopping on a narrow part of the sholder, the officer should have instructed the driver to continue until after the bridge where the sholder was much wider, or at least approached from the passenger side. Terrible situation.
      Luke
      • 2 Years Ago
      $100? That's it?! He could've killed that cop. Until fines and punishment start matching the severity of the crime this stuff won't stop. It drives me CRAZY when people don't move over for ANY stopped vehicle...especially when they have room to. People are too ignorant and wrapped up in their own little world to pay attention to the needs of others. On the other hand, the officer could've used is PA system to ask the driver to pull further ahead to a safer plac.e
      Cursethedawn
      • 2 Years Ago
      If you watch him come to a stop the officer pulls in towards the edge and then turns the patrol car back out towards the road. Why does he do this?? The truck hit his patrol car sticking out in the highway first before hitting him.
        WillieD
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Cursethedawn
        So he has more protection.
        Dark Gnat
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Cursethedawn
        Possible reasons: 1. It gives the police car a larger profile for approaching traffic: Makes it easier to see. Not all police cars have light bars on top. 2. It frames him in the dash-cam picture better, in case something goes wrong. 3. It supposedly protects the officer by absorbing the impact of an errant vehicle. (not sure if it made a difference here, but it may have saved his life.) 4. It puts the cruiser in a better position for take-off in case the driver flees. It gives them a better view of traffic behind. Not all departments practice this, for whatever reason. Also road conditions, etc may not allow for such a positioning. This give some insight: https://www.fleet.ford.com/showroom/CVPI/PoliceCarPositioning.asp
      imeggman
      • 2 Years Ago
      If you look just as the truck passes, there is a car in the left lane preventing the truck from pulling over. There are times when I am approaching a stopped vehicle and am trapped in the right lane but traffic on my left. Regrettably this is what can happen. In Canada, the RCMP park there whole car only half way over to give the officers even more protection. This usually forces drivers over, or in the case of being trapped in the right lane, makes for some pretty close passes.
        James
        • 2 Years Ago
        @imeggman
        I agree you imeggman I have way over a million miles and if you watch the video you can see the car. Drivers call then 4 wheelers in the hammer lane next to the truck . But saying that the report all said he hit the rumpal strips before he hit the officer. we also need to ask our selfs was there a hill or cruve in the eara, was the truck in the hammer lane also and had to switch lanes because the car was slower then the truck and should have been in the slow lane.if thats the case the truck driver would have moved over to avoid hitting the car hitting the rummple srtips in the process and so not to put the blame on the car the driver could also have been reching for somthing or sleepy. I would like to hear his side of the story as well. bottom line is no matter what when ever you a see a car, cop, construction workers,emergency vehicles mover over or slow down, they would do the same for you.I hope and pray that the officer recovers 100% and would like to thank him for doing a job that most of us would never do. .
        Luke
        • 2 Years Ago
        @imeggman
        What a lame excuse, "I was trapped." BS. You slow down, you put your signal on. 99% of people will give you the hole. If not you push the issue. Jesus, a cop's life isn't worth your lame excuse.
      • 2 Years Ago
      [blocked]
      Rollingdoughnut
      • 2 Years Ago
      Another example of how stupid traffic enforcement causes more accidents and traffic jams than it helps. It actually makes the roads less safe to enforce speed limit laws. All the traffic flowing smoothly along is perfectly safe whether it moves along at 55 or 80mph. The police in this country are nothing more than tax collectors.
        Kumar
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Rollingdoughnut
        I get what your saying, but sadly it probably points more to the incompetence of our fellow drivers that they cannot adjust to varying driving conditions, like the truck driver in the vid. Would you feel comfy cruising down the highway at 80 knowing that the person next to you can control their car only when there is a wide straight road ahead?
      XJ Yamaha
      • 2 Years Ago
      if you are unable to move over it is legally required you slow way down. the flashing lights on the roof of the patrol car are enough of an indicator to do so. this truck driving moron should lose every license he possesses for a good few years. there is no excuse for this non sense.
      FuelToTheFire
      • 2 Years Ago
      There's no way I'm going to change lanes just because of that. The dumbass cop should have just stayed on the passenger side
        Dump
        • 2 Years Ago
        @FuelToTheFire
        But the truck driver should have slowed down and tried to pass with as much space between them as possible. Oncoming traffic should have seen the flashing lights with enough time to react accordingly.
        Skicat
        • 2 Years Ago
        @FuelToTheFire
        So what you're saying is, "There's no way I'm going to obey the law." More-on.
      mike
      • 2 Years Ago
      I thought it was just common sense to move over. People shouldn't need a law to make them be courteous.
        • 2 Years Ago
        @mike
        [blocked]
          J
          • 2 Years Ago
          True. And sometimes the other vehicles make it basically impossible to move over by failing to slow or move over another lane to let you in. In my state, when that situation presents itself, you are supposed to slow down considerably. I can't remember the exact speed that's required, though.
      Ducman69
      • 2 Years Ago
      Officers here are instructed to avoid these situations by: 1) Following the subject and not putting the lights on to pull over until there is a safe stretch of road ahead 2) Announcing to the vehicle over speaker to move down the road if they stop in an unsafe place 3) Approaching vehicles on the highway from the passenger window
        RainMotorsports
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Ducman69
        Not sure what they tell officers to do here. But you see in the video one thing they do here. Once pulling into the solder the pull the front left of the car to the inner edge of the shoulder. The truck hit the officers car before clipping him. While there was not much time for the truck to react this practice often saves the officers life in the event of an accident. I have seen some pretty long follows and that may be in the guidelines. Never heard an announcement from a vehicle.
      Taint
      • 2 Years Ago
      its hard to feel bad for officers when bad things happen to them when they are so found of abusing power. If I was the one pulled over I would have said to myself thats what you get.
        Dump
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Taint
        @Taint: That's not fair. The officer was just doing his job. And it's your responsibility to drive safely & follow the law. Of course, you can drive a bit faster than the posted limits, but that's the risk you take. You get caught - your fault - accept the ticket happily. Not every fed/state/local cop is out abusing their power. OK, blame the person that has done wrong, but not everyone else like him - that's just unnecessary hate.
        tylermars.design
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Taint
        Wow you really are a taint.
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