Crashes Involving Squad Cars, Fire Vehicles On Rise

By Mark Carlson, Iowa City Bureau Chief

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By Aaron Hepker

IOWA CITY, Iowa - Local officials say crashes involving emergency vehicles are on Eastern Iowa interstates are on the rise and they’re asking drivers to slow down.

Last weekend a state patrol car sustained heavy damage in crash on Interstate 80. The trooper was treated and released from the hospital and isn’t expected to miss any time off work, but it’s reminder of the dangers public servants face.

“There’s been an increase, that’s true,” Lt. Randy Jones of the Iowa State Patrol said. “Drivers need to pay attention and slow down.”

A West Branch fire rescue vehicle was also damaged in a separate crash on I-80 Saturday after a passing vehicle slammed into it.

Last month a Coralville squad car was totaled in a crash on I-80 after a passing semi lost control near the 1st Avenue exit. The officer sustained minor injuries and spent a night in the hospital. That same day another state trooper vehicle sustained heavy damage in a separate crash.

Weather is believed to have played a role in all the crashes.

“Especially in the snow and ice, drivers have to be alert,” Jones said.

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