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2 Metro East police vehicles struck overnight

FREEBURG, IL – Two area police chiefs are breathing a sigh of relief after their officers’ vehicles were struck while making traffic stops.  In both cases officers were inside their vehicle when it was truck.

State law requires the Illinois State Police to investigate crashes involving other vehicles.  Illinois State Police Trooper Calvin Dye said it appears in one of the cases the driver was drunk.  That incident involved a New Athens Police Officer.

The officer made a traffic stop along Highway 13 near Van Buren Street Saturday night when the driver of the other vehicle struck the officer’s vehicle, according to Dye.

The other incident involved a Freeburg police officer who made a traffic stop.  In that incident the vehicle’s side mirror was knocked off.  Police say an elderly driver struck the vehicle and was distraught over what happened.

“I’m sure it’s every chief’s nightmare to get a call from their command staff or from patrol that someone is involved in accident,” said Freeburg Police Chief Michael Schutzenhofer.   “It’s just one of them phone calls you don’t want to get.”

Earlier this month a Missouri State Highway Patrol Trooper was injured when a suspected drunk driver slammed into the back of his vehicle during a traffic stop on I-170.

“You see the lights move over, and if you can’t move over stop until it’s safe to move over,” said Schutzenhofer.  “These guys have jobs to do.  They’re trying to do to the best of their ability and they’re looking out for everybody’s safety.”