'I’ve Been Hit A Lot:' Trooper Reacts To Latest Interstate 'Close-Call'

The Oklahoma Highway Patrol released dash cam footage of when a car slammed into a patrol car on the side of the interstate. The trooper was not injured, but he says similar crashes are all too common.

Wednesday, February 21st 2024, 5:22 pm

By: News 9, Colby Thelen


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The Oklahoma Highway Patrol released dash cam footage of when a car slammed into a patrol car on the side of the interstate.

The trooper was not injured, but he says similar crashes are all too common.

The side of the road comes with close calls for troopers. Some calls are closer than others.

Last month, Trooper Jesse Gregory says he was thankful to walk away from a crash on the side of Interstate 40 near Cimmaron Road. A driver slammed into the side of the vehicle he had just pulled over.

It can happen at any time on any highway. Trooper Russell Callicoat can tell you. He was hit Saturday night on the side of Interstate 44 in Tulsa. “I made a traffic stop, and exited my car,” he recalls. “I turned around, and saw a car driving toward my patrol car at an angle.”

That car slammed into his at a speed he estimates was between 60 and 65 miles per hour. Fortunately, he wasn’t hit.

While it was a close call, he’s had closer. He was hit from behind on a traffic stop in April. It sent him to the hospital. “A young female that was texting on her phone,” he says.

These crashes aren’t Callicoat’s only examples. “I’ve been hit a lot,” he says. “I think I’m at six.”

He says the majority of the Oklahoma Highway Patrol have experienced a similar crash. “People are not taking care when they’re getting behind the wheel of a 5000-pound missile,” he says.

In November, fines increased for those who fail to slow down or move over for emergency vehicles. He says it is a step in the right direction, but it doesn’t always stop drunk or distracted drivers.

Both have hit Callicoat, “We’re not asking people - I don’t know - to fly to the moon or something. It’s very simple,” he says.

His experiences may be the reason the crash Saturday felt routine. “I went and got in another car, and went out and finished my shift.”

It was a close call he’s thankful wasn’t closer. “This is the first one the vehicle didn’t make contact with me so that’s good news,” Callicoat says.

The driver that hit his patrol car is suspected of driving under the influence. “Just focus on driving,” he urges. “It’s a hard enough task as it is.”

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