WSP patrol car totaled, trooper injured in rollover crash
RITZVILLE, Wash. - A Washington State Patrol trooper walked away from a crash with only minor injuries after he rolled his patrol vehicle while swerving to avoid debris in the road on Interstate 90 near Ritzville.
WSP Sergeant Steve Morehead says that Trooper Dustin C. Stephan, 24, was driving westbound on I-90 near Ritzville just after 10:00 Thursday night when he came upon a large piece of debris that was blocking the road.
The WSP says that 25-year-old Joseph Charles Hardin from Spokane Valley was driving westbound ahead of Trooper Stephan's vehicle when a camping tent flew out of the back of his pickup truck. It landed in the left lane of the road in front of Trooper Stephan's patrol car forcing him to swerve into the right lane. He went off the road to the right where the WSP says he struck and embankment and rolled his vehicle.
A press release from the WSP says that Trooper Stephan only suffered minor injuries, including a scrape on his arm. He was transported to East Adams Hospital in Ritzville where he was treated and released Thursday night.
Joseph Hardin didn't sustain any injuries or damage to his vehicle; however, he's now facing a failure to secure his load charge for his role in the crash.