A Washington state trooper injured in a crash on the shoulder of Interstate 90 was recovering Sunday from injuries.
Trooper James Wickham was injured Saturday afternoon when a car veered off the interstate and slammed into Wickham’s parked patrol vehicle, according to a news release from the Washington State Patrol. The driver, Allen Wells, 19, of Spokane, had fallen asleep at the wheel; he was cited for second-degree negligent driving, the release said.
Wickham, 42, of Spokane, was taken to MultiCare Valley Hospital in Spokane Valley on Saturday and released on the same day and is now recovering at home, said WSP Trooper Jeff Sevigney.
Wells’ car struck another eastbound car before it hit Wickham’s vehicle, which may have lessened the impact, Sevigney said. The driver of the other car was not injured, according to the news release.
Risks are high for troopers who provide assistance on interstates, Sevigney said. The speed limit is 70 mph where the crash occurred, near Stateline, Idaho, at milepost 298, two miles east of Liberty Lake.
“Unfortunately it’s one of the hazards of being a trooper,” said Sevigney. “It could have been a lot worse.”
Wickham had been responding to a report of a stranded driver with a flat tire, Sevigney said. Wickham had just made contact with the stranded motorist and returned to his patrol vehicle when Wells’ car struck his patrol vehicle with Wickham sitting inside it, Sevigney said.
Wickham’s patrol vehicle, a 2018 Ford Explorer, had its overhead emergency lights activated, the release said.
Investigators determined that drugs and alcohol were not a factor in the 4:38 p.m. crash.
Both Wells’ white Ford Taurus and the patrol vehicle were totaled.