This is a first for Sgt. John Helfant in his 24 years as a trooper. His cruiser was severely damaged when it was hit from behind while he helped another driver on Interstate 89 just miles from the Bethel State Police barracks.
Reporter Joe Carroll: How are you doing?
Sgt. John Helfant/Vermont State Police: I'm doing OK.
He and his cruiser-cam came up to the first accident just before noon. The driver was unhurt. He had hit the guardrails. This was one of the dozens of accidents Troop D had to deal with Thursday.
"So, first I'm speaking with the operators of the first accident," Helfant said, showing the cruiser-cam video.
When all of a sudden two speeding vehicles went by the trooper and driver. A moment later, an elderly driver from Quebec hit the cruiser. Thankfully, no one was in the police car, but the passenger in the car that hit it had broken bones and was transported to Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center.
Helfant says dealing with accidents on the side of the road is what troopers fear the most on the job.
"It seems like people don't slow down even though the road conditions are bad and we would like to ask people to please slow down. There are AOT workers out there, there are state workers out there, DMV is out there. We have a job to do and we like to go home at night," Helfant said.
The crash will be investigated by the DMV.
State Police are investigating a crash last week when a trooper in Chittenden County rolled over on Interstate 89. He was not hurt and has not been ticketed.