DES MOINES, Iowa -- Video shows the frightening moment a Highway Helper jumped out of the way of a fast-approaching car on Interstate 235.
The accident happened just after 9:30 a.m. Tuesday on westbound I-235 near the Cottage Grove exit. According to Sgt. Paul Parizek, a Des Moines officer stopped first to help a stopped motorist along the road. The Highway Helper arrived and was setting up orange safety cones at the site when a black Nissan hit the Highway Helper vehicle from behind.
“While they were out here another car didn’t move over, seems maybe traveling at a pretty high rate of speed, struck the rear end of the highway helper car. As it kind of spun out of control it also hit the front end of the police car which knocked that police car into the officer that was trying to run out of the way,” said Parizek.
Police say the officer, whose name has yet to be released, suffered an arm injury. He was transported to the hospital for treatment and was released later Tuesday. The Highway Helper had to jump over the fence on the side of the road to avoid being hit by his own vehicle.
The motorist, 18-year-old Saadig Noor, was charged with a move over violation and failure to maintain control. According to the Iowa Department of Transportation his license will be suspended for 180 days and he can be subject to an additional fine of $500 for inflicting bodily harm. He sustained minor injuries.
"It is a dangerous situation, they're putting their lives at stake, to be out there to help the traveling public. And I think people need to realize that these people are real people who need to make it home just like they're trying to make it home," said Bonnie Castillo Manager at the Traffic Management Center and the Highway Helpers.
“This is why these move over laws exist. You need to move over and slow down because you’ve got our first responders out here trying to help people, and the last thing they need is somebody running into them,” said Sgt. Parizek.
Traffic in the area has since resumed.