The car of a dozing driver rammed full speed into the back of a Washington State Patrol trooper’s SUV on Friday morning on Interstate 5 in Fife, the State Patrol said.
The driver and trooper were hospitalized.
After the wreck, Trooper Timothy Rushton, 33, complained of neck and back injuries, and he had facial lacerations, State Patrol spokeswoman Trooper Brooke Brova said.
Injuries to the other driver, a 62-year-old University Place man, were not immediately available.
The crash happened after Rushton made a traffic stop about 6 a.m. on southbound I-5 on the Fife curve, between 70th and 54th avenues. The emergency lights on the trooper’s 2016 Ford Explorer were on.
“He had just gotten back in his vehicle so, unfortunately, he hadn’t had time to put his seat belt on yet,” Brova said.
That’s when the driver of a 2009 Nissan 370Z hit the trooper’s SUV from behind. The State Patrol said the driver had fallen asleep.
Charges are pending.
A third vehicle was involved, according to South King Fire & Rescue.