Montana Highway Patrol Sergeant Andrew Novak emphasized the importance of drivers obeying the law that requires them to slow down when approaching an accident.

Novak described what happened on Tuesday on I-90.

“A vehicle had illegally used a median crossover,” said Novak. “Shortly after pulling back out into traffic it had been rear ended by another eastbound vehicle, and driving under the influence was a suspected factor in that crash. The patrol cars were parked there with the lights activated. The troopers were out of their cars investigating the prior crash. However one approaching eastbound driver failed to do that and he crashed into both patrol cars.”

Novak said both patrol vehicles were damaged and one was totaled. The car that crashed into them was also badly damaged, but the driver was not injured.

Novak explained the law requiring drivers to slow down when approaching an accident where emergency vehicles are stopped with lights flashing.

“If there is a vehicle such as a fire truck, ambulance police car and emergency vehicle stopped in or adjacent to the roadway, approaching traffic is required to slow and move into the adjacent lane before proceeding past the emergency vehicle if there is an adjacent lane available.”

Novak referenced an accident in October when two tow truck drivers were killed after a vehicle ignored the law and crashed into the scene.