Police Officer Hit by Passing Car At Car Accident Scene
Police Officer Assisting Trooper at Accident Scene Hit by Passing Car
It was about 7:40 p.m. on Dec. 7, 2008. Roads were icy and a vehicle had slid into the ditch off U.S. 52 South, east of U.S. 63.
Berhane, 38, then a four-year veteran with the Rochester Police Department, responded to the accident to help. His squad car was sitting on the right shoulder of U.S. 52, providing lights for the crash ahead of him, and to a firefighter putting flashing lights on the roadway.
A State Patrol trooper was already on the scene. Berhane parked his squad car, got out, walked down into the ditch and talked to the trooper. The people sitting in their vehicle in the ditch weren't injured. Berhane said the trooper was just waiting for a tow truck.
While talking, they saw a vehicle spin out on the icy highway, sitting perpendicular on the highway. Berhane returned to the roadway to see what was going on. The motorist was able to straighten out the car and drove away.
A firefighter on the scene was putting flashing lights out on the roadway to warn motorists to slow down.
Berhane said he went back to his squad car to get his traffic vest and gloves and had just closed the door and was near the front bumper of his squad car when he heard the approaching car.
The squad car was hit, in turn hitting Berhane, but not knocking him down.
Berhane said he was dragged a short distance but never lost consciousness. "At some point that car was on top of me, resting. For a few seconds, I was under it."