LONOKE, Ark. — An Arkansas State Trooper narrowly escaped serious injury Wednesday (Feb. 17) morning when the trailer of a commercial carrier jackknifed and struck the rear of an Arkansas State Police patrol car with the trooper inside.
The incident happened around 9 a.m. along Interstate 40 west of Lonoke.
According to ASP, Sergeant Chuck Lewis, a 25-year state police veteran, was using his patrol car emergency blue lights and attempting to warn westbound I-40 motorists of congested traffic ahead of his location.
A vehicle crash with no injuries was slowing traffic 200 yards ahead of Sergeant Lewis, but traffic approaching the area was moving at speeds in excess of 50 to 60 miles per hour across ice-covered traffic lanes.
According to ASP, the driver of a tractor-trailer truck approaching the area, Joe Barbosa, 54, of San Antonio, Texas, lost control of his vehicle as he began to brake, causing the trailer to jackknife and impact the rear of the patrol car occupied by Sergeant Lewis.
The state police patrol car was spun into a tree line north of the interstate.
Barbosa regained control of the truck and trailer and left the scene of the crash, but was later apprehended in the North Little Rock area where he was charged with careless and prohibited driving and leaving the scene of a property damage crash.
Barbosa was released and was given a Lonoke County court date.
Sergeant Lewis did not sustain any serious injuries and Barbosa was not injured.
The first crash that occurred shortly before 9 a.m., along with the crash involving Sergeant Lewis began to cause multiple crashes in a slow chain reaction stretching east of the first crash scene by more than 30 miles.