Two police cars hit along same stretch of road, one officer inju - KMOV.com

Two police cars hit along same stretch of road, one officer injured

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The New Athens officer's car was sideswiped by a van and was damaged on the driver's side. (Credit: KMOV) The New Athens officer's car was sideswiped by a van and was damaged on the driver's side. (Credit: KMOV)
NEW ATHENS, Ill. (KMOV.com) -

Two police cars were sideswiped by oncoming vehicles during traffic stops in separate incidents on Illinois Route 13 Saturday night.

A New Athens police officer was in the middle of a traffic stop and was in his patrol car when it was hit by a mini van.

The accident happened on Illinois Route 13 in Saint Clair County around 10 p.m. Saturday.

The officer whose car was hit was taken to the hospital and is being treated for non-life-threatening injuries, according to New Athens police.

The unmarked police vehicle was damaged on the driver's side.

Police said the driver of the mini van was arrested by an assisting officer.

Illinois State Police are handling the crash investigation.

On the same stretch of road, just a few hours earlier, a Freeburg officer's patrol car was struck along Route 15.

A driver sideswiped the patrol vehicle while the officer was making a traffic stop.

"She had plenty of time to get over," said Michael Flake, the officer who's SUV was sideswiped, "but some people don’t know about the law and think they have enough room so it happens." 

Scott's Law requires drivers in Illinois to slow down and move over if they can when approaching an emergency vehicle or police car on the side of the road.

The law is named after Lieut. Scott Gillen, a firefighter for the Chicago Fire Dept. who was hit and killed by a drunk driver while assisting a crash on the Dan Ryan Expressway. 

No one was injured in the accident involving Flake. 

Freeburg Police Chief Mike Schutzenhofer hopes this close call will be a reminder for drivers to move over and slow down when they see one of his officers.

"My main goal is that they show up to work safe and that they return home safe," he said.  

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