Trooper Lowell Russell talks about hit-and-run that injured colleague

7:18 PM, Jun 24, 2013   |    comments
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A THP trooper is recovering after the agency said he was hit on the interstate by an impaired driver.

The Tennessee Highway Patrol said truck driver, Stewart Snedeker, hit Trooper Joe Lindsay with his tractor trailer early Sunday morning on I-75 near the Kentucky/Tennessee line.

Troopers say Lindsay was clearing the scene of an early morning truck crash when Snedeker collided into him. THP said Snedeker soon left the scene, before being arrested by the Campbell County Sheriff Department at nearby Pilot Travel Center.

Lindsay has since left UT Medical Center, according to THP. He suffered a fractured vertebrae in his neck, a fractured rib and injuries to his arm.

Troopers charged Snedeker with driving under the influence of an intoxicant or drug, multiple counts of reckless endangerment, vehicular assault, failure to exercise due care, failure to move over for emergency services, possession of drug paraphernalia, leaving the scene of a crash with injury, and failure to report a crash. He is currently in the Campbell County Jail on $17,000 bond.

THP said it could take up to eight weeks for the crime lab to determine what was in Snedeker's system. Either way, truckers are held to a higher standard than most drivers on the road.

Federal law prohibits them from having a blood alcohol concentration of more than .04 percent. For most drivers in Tennessee the limit is .08 percent.

Sunday's accident hit home for THP trooper Sgt. Lowell Russell, who in March 2012 was hit by a sleepy truck driver while on Interstate 40. He said he is friends with Lindsay.

"[Lindsay's] an exceptional trooper," Russell said. "He set a good example for us all."

Russell said it's important drivers pay attention while they are on the roads. He said he's still going to therapy five days a week to recover from his incident.

"When you hear a story like this, it just makes you want to pay attention to what's going on," Russell said.

The Campbell County Jail said Snedeker is expected in general sessions court June 28.

Snedeker works for Paris Transport Inc., out of Paris Illinois. According to federal records, their drivers are relatively safe on the roads. Before Sunday, they had reported zero crashes over two years.

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