A distracted driver struck Washington State Patrol Trooper Michael Patoc’s vehicle while he was helping a disabled motorist blocking a lane of eastbound Interstate 90 on Tuesday night in Bellevue. (Photo courtesy of the Washington State Patrol)

A distracted driver struck Washington State Patrol Trooper Michael Patoc’s vehicle while he was helping a disabled motorist blocking a lane of eastbound Interstate 90 on Tuesday night in Bellevue. (Photo courtesy of the Washington State Patrol)

Trooper seriously injured by Snoqualmie woman in distracted driving accident

  • Wednesday, December 27, 2017 5:47pm
  • News

Washington State Patrol Trooper Michael Patoc sustained serious injuries while assisting a disabled motorist blocking a lane of eastbound Interstate 90 near West Lake Sammamish Parkway in Bellevue on Tuesday night.

Patoc was out of his patrol car just before 7:30 p.m. attempting to clear a disabled motorist in the center lane when an his vehicle was struck by an inattentive driver, according to Washington State Patrol.

The force of that impact was so great it crushed the rear of his patrol car, launching it forward into the disabled vehicle, which in turn struck Patoc and threw him several feet. Patoc sustained serious injuries and was immediately rushed to Overlake Hospital where he was treated and released on Wednesday morning. There were no other injuries reported.

The causing driver, a 24-year-old Snoqualmie woman, stated she observed the patrol cars emergency lights but did not realize it was stopped, according to WSP. She went on to say she looked down to adjust the dash controls in her vehicle before she struck the patrol car at freeway speeds.

Washington state’s “Move Over” law has been in effect since Jan. 1, 2012 (RCW 46.61.212). It requires drivers entering an emergency zone proceed with “due regard for safety.”

District Commander Ron Mead expressed thanks for the quick response and excellent care provided by local firefighters and paramedics when he responded to the hospital to check on the welfare of his trooper following the collision. While there he relayed a stark reminder for all drivers.

“It appears the causing driver in this instance was distracted, it’s important to remember that although cell phones as distraction have been paramount in the media lately all distractions are hazardous while driving,” Mead said in a press release. “Our message is simple; when you are driving, focus on driving. This crash was entirely avoidable had the driver been paying attention. I am grateful that as serious as the injuries to the trooper are, they aren’t any worse.”

More in News

President’s emergency declaration sparks immediate legal backlash

Attorney General Bob Ferguson said his team will sue the White House if federal funds originally intended for Washington state are interrupted.

Bill targets sexual health curriculum in Washington schools

Senate Bill 5395 is co-sponsored by 17 Democratic representatives and introduced by Sen. Claire Wilson, D-Federal Way.

According to King County’s Mental Illness and Drug Dependency (MIDD) annual report, Seattle had the highest rate of people using services at 36 percent of the total, followed by 31 percent from South King County, 18 percent from the greater Eastside, and 7 percent from north county including Shoreline.
Study shows King County’s treatment funding is making progress

A document on the county’s .1 percent health sales tax was accepted Wednesday by the county council.

Captain Ron Mead, commander of the Washington State Patrol in King County, directs traffic on the top of Snoqualmie Pass. Photo courtesy of Trooper Rick Johnson.
Convoy leads Snoqualmie travelers to safety

Immense snowfall led to dicey conditions on the pass.

Russell Wilson and Ciara spoke Friday at the Tukwila Library to Foster students and other attendees as their Why Not You Foundation joined forces with the King County Library System and JPMorgan Chase to launch the DREAM BIG: Anything is Possible campaign. Photo by Kayse Angel
New teen campaign, DREAM BIG, kicked off Friday

Russell Wilson and Ciara were on hand to unveil limited edition library cards featuring the duo.

Bothell police recruits Amanda Rees and Dan Wiseman. Ashley Hiruko/staff photo
Police chiefs: More than a year to find, train new officers

HB1253 requires new hires complete basic training requirements within two months.

River stabilization project begins planning phase

The city of Snoqualmie has partnered with King County to install 400 feet of riverbank stabilization

Image by Google Maps.
Expanding culture, government

North Bend will do a cultural exchange with the town of Mestia in the European country of Georgia.

Children’s play area at Seadrunar. Photo by Lauren Davis via Facebook
Seedy side of Seadrunar: Drug rehab center accused of neglect, exploitation

Public records reveal that Seattle facility was accused of neglecting children and clients in its care.

Most Read