State trooper expected to make full recovery following Spillway collision

Incident marked third time state police vehicle hit in area since 2012

A Louisiana State Trooper is reportedly expected to make a full recovery after he was hospitalized following an incident where his vehicle was hit by a car speeding at 115 miles per hour on I-10 over the Bonnet Carre Spillway.

State police are not releasing the trooper’s identity at this time, but state police spokeswoman Melissa Matey said the man is doing well after being treated for minor injuries.

Gregory Rickerson, 23, was the driver of the allegedly speeding 2008 Hyundai Sonata during the Feb. 3 incident and is suspected of impairment by police and he was charged with vehicular negligent injuring, which includes DWI. He also was charged with speeding, reckless operation of a motor vehicle and driving with a suspended driver’s license. Rickerson was not injured in the wreck.

According to police, the state trooper was parked on the right shoulder of the road with his emergency hazard lights and headlights on when he saw Rickerson’s car speeding toward him. The Sonata reportedly hit the right guard rail and then the left rear quarter panel and tire well of the Charger.

The 115 miles per hour speed would be 55 ticks over the 60 mph speed limit in the area.

It isn’t the first time a state police vehicle was hit on the elevated portion of the spillway. In 2016, a state trooper was investigating a single-vehicle crash and was pulled over in the left lane when a speeding Nissan Altima smashed into the back of his car, its driver later arrested for suspected DWI. The trooper wasn’t injured in that instance — he had run out of the way of the incoming car.

Another incident in December of 2012 actually led to the temporary suspension of speeding patrols on elevated highways by Louisiana State Police. That incident saw Lt. Robert Hodges parked on a narrow shoulder of the road while running a radar gun, standing between the vehicle and its open door.

Though the collision took the door off of the car, Hodges incurred only minor injuries. The incident still resulted in the suspension of speed patrol activity for approximately four months until May of 2013, and the implementation of new training for officers working those elevated highways.

The elevated highways are considered more dangerous than those in other areas with larger shoulders and grassy areas.

Spillway hazardous for State Troopers

  • Feb. 3 incident was the third instance of a state trooper’s vehicle being hit on I-10 over the Bonnet Carre Spillway.
  • Other incidents came in 2016 and 2012. In each instance, the driver of the other vehicle was charged with DWI.
  • The 2012 incident resulted in the temporary suspension of speeding patrols on elevated highways by Louisiana State Police.
  • Elevated highways are considered more dangerous for patrol officers than roads in lower areas with larger shoulders and grassy areas.
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