A Minnesota State Patrol trooper hit by a suspected drunk driver Saturday night is telling his story of survival.
Trooper Allen Thill was one of five emergency responders at the scene of a rollover crash at interstate 494 and 35W. Troopers even closed the ramp to keep the situation as safe as possible, but their precautions were still not enough to stop a drunk driver.
"The guy just drove right in through the flares and right into the crash scene," said State Patrol Lt. Eric Roeske.
Investigators said 39-year-old Maurice Blevins, of Richfield, Minn., came down the ramp and sideswiped one squad before directly rear-ending another.
"It was impressive, the extent of the damage sustained to my car," Thill said.
Both troopers were sitting in the drivers' seats at the time.
"I did not see it coming," Thill added.
Thill still had his seat belt on when he was struck.
"It was just one loud crash. Next thing I know, I was pushed forward in a cloud of dust," Thill recalled."
Thill was taken to Hennepin County Medical Center, where he was treated and released. The other trooper wasn't hurt.
"With the amount of emergency vehicles and flares and everything, for them to drive right through all of them and hit two squad cars just shows the dangers of alcohol," Roeske said. "No one is safe."
Thill has been a trooper for two years, and he said this was his first time being hit on the job.
"I believe that we did everything proper," he said, looking back. "We positioned our squads in such positions where people should have saw us at quite a distance out."
Thill said he hopes the crash will serve as a warning to others and as a reminder to move over and slow down for emergency vehicles.
"I'm very thankful that I'm talking to you guys today," he said. "It could have been a lot worse for everyone involved."
Blevins had three passengers in his car. His girlfriend told FOX 9 News all three were his children, including a 14-year-old and an 11-year-old. None were injured.
Officials say Blevins will likely be charged with criminal vehicular operation.
WHBQ-TV | Fox 13
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