Suffolk Highway Patrolman Was Injured By Alleged Drunk Driver Last Weekend

HAUPPAUGE, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) – There is a renewed call for motorists to heed New York State’s newly enacted “Move Over Law” after a Long Island police officer was injured while investigating a recent accident.

Suffolk Police Lt. Ken Holvik said officers are in danger every time they get out of their cruisers to investigate an accident.

“The roadways are very busy, vehicles are traveling very fast, it’s very dangerous,” Holvik told WCBS 880 Long Island Bureau Chief Mike Xirinachs.

Holvik said the law is designed to prevent a “zone of safety” for emergency workers trying to do their jobs.

“Take just a little bit extra care as they see the lights activated and try to move out of the way and give those workers the opportunity to do what they’re doing,” Holvik said.

Suffolk Highway Patrolman Brian Smales is recovering from injuries suffered when his cruiser was struck by an alleged drunk driver last weekend.

Smales was hit last Sunday around 7 p.m. on Sunrise Highway in Patchogue as he investigated an earlier fatal crash.

The driver, Salvatore Distefano, has been charged with DWI and failure to obey the “Move Over Law.”

Smales is recovering at home from head, neck, back and leg injuries.

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