A state highway patrol officer was seriously injured while directing traffic around an accident on icy Interstate 40 near Williams on Wednesday at about 10 a.m.
Officials say that Greg King, a 27-year veteran of the Arizona Department of Public Safety, suffered serious but non-life-threatening injuries.
King was standing near his patrol car assisting another officer with an accident scene when he spotted a semitruck speeding through the area. The officer signaled to the truck driver to slow down and the man lost control, striking King's vehicle and knocking it into him.
The officer was transported to Flagstaff Medical Center via helicopter to be treated for his injuries. He suffered lacerations to his face and broken bones, but was reported unofficially to be in stable condition.
Officials said that the truck driver's speed and the icy road conditions were likely factors in the accident. An investigation is still ongoing, but no citations have been issued and the driver, who was uninjured, was not thought to be intoxicated.
"The investigation is still under way," said Sgt. Gary Phelps of the Arizona Department of Public Safety.
EASTBOUND LANES CLOSED
The eastbound lanes of Interstate 40 were closed near milepost 160 for several hours while officers investigated the incident and cleared the roadway.
Because the collision happened beneath an overpass that was part of an interchange, the Arizona Department of Transportation was able to divert traffic from the interstate around the accident using an offramp.
King became a DPS officer in 1985 and served most of his career in the Tucson area, but recently transferred to Williams. Phelps described King as one of the more senior DPS officers in northern Arizona.
Wednesday's collision was similar to another in 2009, when a veteran officer working a rollover accident on Interstate 17 was pinned under a vehicle by a semitruck that lost control in icy conditions.
Kenneth J. Henscheid, a 10-year veteran and married father of four, had to take a medical retirement due to injuries sustained in the accident.
Eric Betz can be reached at 556-2250 or email@example.com.