07/26/2007

Ind. state trooper seriously hurt in collision

By James Gillaspy
The Indianapolis Star
P1 Member Tip: Interstate and other "high traffic" vehicle stops

INDIANA — An Indiana state trooper's decision to question the stopped motorist through the passenger window of her car Wednesday on the Northeastside may have saved his life.

In a matter of moments, police say, a box truck on I-465 swerved into the woman's car, which in turn slammed into Trooper Henry Kalina, 40, throwing him down an embankment and into a ditch.

The driver of the truck, Andrew Yoder, 63, Geneva, was apparently changing lanes from the center to the far-right lane when he noticed the trooper's unmarked car, which police say had flashing emergency red and blue lights.

"He swerved, and instead of hitting the police car, he hit the car that was stopped by the trooper," said State Police spokesman Sgt. Ray Poole.

The crash took place about 9:30 a.m. in the eastbound lanes of I-465 just east of Allisonville Road, where construction work is taking place. Kalina was alert and conscious when he was transported by helicopter to Methodist Hospital.

He was being treated for injuries to his legs and was listed in stable but serious condition, State Police said in a news release Wednesday afternoon.

Kalina is an eight-year veteran of the department and has worked as a member of Gov. Mitch Daniels' security detail. He was apparently performing construction zone enforcement duties Wednesday morning.

The car Kalina stopped was driven by Katrina Bowen-Davis, 28, Carmel. She had been stopped for a traffic violation.

Bowen-Davis was also taken to Methodist Hospital, where police said she was treated for non-life-threatening injuries.

Another woman and child were also injured and were being treated at Methodist Hospital. Police did not release their names or conditions.

Yoder, the driver of the truck, was cited for failing to yield the right of way to a stationary emergency vehicle and unsafe lane movement.

Tracy Van Hise, 51, 8000 block of Campbell Avenue, said she could hear the collision and aftermath from inside her nearby house.

"I heard a lady wailing, 'My baby! My baby!' Van Hise said. " 'Get my baby!' "

Poole said the crash should be a reminder to motorists to slow down in work zones.

"In construction zones, traffic stops immediately for whatever reason," Poole said.

The zones can be particularly dangerous for police. Another trooper was struck during a traffic stop in Daviess County on Tuesday when a semi hit his vehicle and the car he had stopped.

Copyright 2007 IndyStar.com

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