HUDSON, Wis. - A very close call that was completely avoidable.
Authorities say a pickup truck plowed into the back of a Hudson Police squad at highway speeds while it was on the side of the road. Luckily, the police officer was not in the vehicle at the time of impact.
In a message posted on its Facebook page, the department posted a photo of the totaled cruiser, saying it's just one more example of why drivers need to slow down, move over and pay attention.
Police officer Hilary Lundberg was assisting a driver with a flat tire on the I-94 bridge Monday morning when the accident occurred. The squad was parked in the left lane when the pickup slammed into the back.
"I was just thankful my officer is alive and not injured," said Marty Jensen, Hudson Police Chief.
Lundberg's dash cam video shows her backing away from her squad car, moments before the impact. The Ford Taurus squad flies past her at a high rate of speed, striking a concrete bridge railing just feet from the officer. The squad car then slides across four lanes of traffic before striking another concrete railing on the other side of the bridge.
"She looks up and sees the car coming and she's got basically no place to go because there’s a gap between the two bridges. So if she were to jump over the ledge, there’s a chance she would fall into the river," continued Jensen.
Lundberg was uninjured. The 31-year-old St. Paul man driving the pickup sustained "non-life threatening injuries," according to the Minnesota State Patrol, which is investigating the crash.
One man later commented on the post, saying his dash cam captured the incident, recalling that the impact was so severe it pushed the squad car across the highway. A still image he shared of that video shows the officer standing near the site of the crash, moments after his squad was hit.