Temple, Texas (KWKT) — A Temple police officer was hospitalized Thursday morning after he was hit on Interstate 35 during a traffic stop.
At around 7:45 a.m., Officer William Pettyjohn was struck on I-35 northbound near mile marker 296. Temple Police Department Public Information Officer Christopher Wilcox said Pettyjohn was injured after speaking with the driver and returning to his motorcycle.
Investigators believe a blue Chrysler 2-door and a grey Dodge pickup truck were traveling north approaching the scene of the stop when the Chrysler moved from the right lane to the center and collided with the Dodge. Both vehicles lost control and begin to skid.
The Dodge slid to the edge of the highway on the east side, and it is believed the pickup struck the police motorcycle as it passed by the scene of the traffic stop. The pickup then rolled one to two times before coming to a rest in the median.
The Chrysler continued sliding northbound in the right traffic lane into the traffic stop. Investigators believed this vehicle hit the officer and threw him about 20 feet before coming to rest near the front left side of the vehicle pulled over.
Pettyjohn, a 14-year veteran of the Temple Police Department, was taken to a local hospital where he is receiving treatment for his injuries. He will be held overnight as medical officials monitor his health. He is in good condition and is expected to make a full recover, said Wilcox.
Officer Pettyjohn stated he is “humbled and thankful for all the kind words, thoughts and prayers.”
The driver and passenger from the Dodge were also taken to a local hospital with minor injuries. The driver of the Chrysler and the vehicle initially stopped were not injured in the accident.
Two northbound lanes were closed and traffic was diverted while Temple P.D. reconstructed the collision.
The Temple Police Department has also to expressed gratitude for the outpouring of support for Officer Pettyjohn and the members of the Temple Police Department.