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RITZVILLE, WA – A state trooper was hurt Sunday, March 6, in a truck accident on a highway in Adams County, Washington. The law enforcement officer was in his patrol car when it was hit by a semi trailer on U.S. Highway 395 just south of the town of Ritzville. The truck accident occurred in the eastern part of Washington, southwest of the city of Spokane, about 84 miles southwest of Post Falls, Idaho and about 145 miles north of Pendleton, Oregon.

Late Sunday afternoon semi driver James Helms was driving a tractor trailer through eastern Washington State. The driver was pulling a short flatbed trailer which appeared to be empty at the time of the truck accident. The tractor trailer was northbound on U.S. Highway 395 but it is not known where Mr. Helms was headed or the company that owns the semi truck.

At the same time, Washington State Police Trooper Dean Burt was on duty in Adams County, patrolling traffic on U.S. Highway 395. The trooper was just completing a traffic stop when the truck accident occurred at about 5:45 p.m. Sunday evening.

According to reports, Trooper Burt was sitting in his patrol car on the paved shoulder of northbound U.S. Highway 395, roughly three miles south of the town of Ritzville. A second patrol car was also stopped next to Trooper Burt. Both patrol cars had their flashing lights activated at the time of the truck accident. Suddenly the semi truck driven by Mr. Helms came barreling down northbound U.S. 395, allegedly traveling at approximately 65 MPHs.

As the tractor trailer approached the parked troopers the driver apparently lost control of the semi and began driving on the shoulder of the highway. The semi trailer slammed into the back of Trooper Burt’s patrol car. The force of the rear-end truck accident propelled the police car off the highway and into a ditch running alongside U.S. 395, trapping the trooper inside the partially crushed vehicle.


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After hitting the trooper’s car, the semi trailer pulled back onto the highway and skidded across the northbound lanes. The tractor trailer went through the center median and entered the southbound lanes of U.S. 395. The semi finally came to a stop, blocking the inside lane of southbound U.S. 395. Fortunately, the semi missed other vehicles and no other persons were involved in the truck accident.

First responders from several area departments descended on the scene of the two vehicle crash. A rescue team got Trooper Burt out of his crashed patrol car and he was treated and stabilized for injuries received during the truck accident. The officer was taken by ground ambulance to a hospital in Ritzville. The trooper was then airlifted in a Life Flight medical helicopter to a second hospital in Spokane. Officials have not released information about the trooper’s injuries except to say they are non life threatening and he is expected to recover. As of Monday morning his condition was Satisfactory.

The semi driver, Mr. Helms, was also hurt in the truck accident. He was taken to a local hospital and treated for unspecified minor injuries.

Washington State Police took control of the truck accident site and shut down traffic lanes around the disabled vehicles. Motorists were diverted into one lane in both the northbound and southbound sides of U.S. 395. The closures did not cause major delays as traffic is usually light on Sunday evenings.

WSP reconstructed the two vehicle crash and interviewed witnesses to the truck accident. It is not known if they have been able to talk to either the truck driver or the trooper. According to officials they have not yet determined why the tractor trailer went off the highway and was driving on the shoulder.

The semi driver will likely face several charges once WSP completes their investigation of the truck accident.

Major cities in Washington state include Bellevue, Federal Way, Spokane, Spokane Valley, Tacoma, Vancouver and Yakima.

Washington truck accident lawyer search:
Bellevue truck accident lawyers
Federal Way truck accident lawyers
Spokane truck accident lawyers
Spokane Valley truck accident lawyers
Tacoma truck accident lawyers
Vancouver truck accident lawyers
Yakima truck accident lawyers

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