Trooper Injured In Crash May Have Been Caused By Distracted Driver
CASTLE ROCK, Colo. (CBS4) – Officials with the Colorado State Patrol say a trooper was injured during a crash in Douglas County Friday morning. Investigators believe the driver of the vehicle who caused the crash was distracted.
The trooper suffered minor injuries when the crash involving three cars happened at approximately 7:45 a.m. at Highway 86 and Founders Parkway.
The trooper was stopped in a line of traffic at a stoplight. The driver of a 2004 Hummer, Jeffrey Estrada, said he dropped his phone and then slammed into the back of the patrol car which then crashed into the Chevy stopped in front of the trooper.
Estrada’s daughter 13-year-old Jersey and her 8-year-old sister were passengers in the car when the accident happened.
“My dad had his phone in his lap and it dropped on the floor and he went to go pick it up. There’s was a stop light and he didn’t see it and then all of a sudden we hit the car,” said Jersey.
Investigators say he never stepped on the brakes and the impact was alarming.
” I hit my face mostly on the dashboard and then I hit my arm against the glass and kind of broke the glass,” said Jersey.
“In recent months we’ve seen a very high influx of patrol car related crashes. More specifically, a lot of people being distracted whether it be inclement weather, too fast for conditions or people simply not paying attention to what they are doing,” said Colorado State Patrol Trooper Josh Lewis.
“And unfortunately we’re paying the price of it. It’s our patrol cars that are getting damaged and it’s the taxpayer that has to pay for that.”
Estrada was given a citation for careless driving, a four point violation and also a misdemeanor.
Jersey says the magnitude of the situation hit her father immediately.
” He almost started crying because he felt really bad he got us into this mess because we could have gone to the hospital,” she said.
No one else was hurt in the crash. The injured trooper was released from the hospital Friday morning to recover at home.