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Amber Alert

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Trooper Inches Away From Being Hit By 18-Wheeler

A trooper with the Tennessee Highway Patrol narrowly misses being hit by an 18 wheeler, but the semi did take off part of the trooper's car door, and it was all caught on tape. The video shows the 18 wheeler slamming into Trooper Chuck Melhorn's patrol car. It also shows glass, shattering from his car door. He was inches away from being hit.

Three days later, we are with the trooper as he sees his smashed cruiser for the first time since the accident. Trooper Melhorn says, "It was close that's for sure. It was close."

Melhorn tells us he had stopped to help a driver who was towing an old car. He says as a trooper, he knows to be cautious for drivers speeding by. On the video you can see Melhorn as looks both ways down the interstate to make sure cars are yielding.

But just as Melhorn walks back to his car and opens the door, the truck smashes into it.

Melhorn radios dispatchers saying, "I've just been struck on the interstate by an 18 wheeler. I'm okay, but he pulled my driver's side door off."

Legally the truck driver should have yielded to the trooper's car. It's called the Move Over Law. It was enacted after a Tennessee Trooper died in a similar situation.

Cpt. Cheryl Sanders with Tennessee Highway Patrol says, "This is a classic example of why we have the law, what can happen."

Drivers are supposed to yield for all stopped emergency personnel. But as our cameras found on I-24, there are cars who fail to follow the law.

Melhorn says, "If they can't move over to the left hand lane, at least slow down a little bit and just be aware."

The trooper says he feels he's been given a second chance at life. "Oh yes I do believe so, yes."

Tennessee investigators are looking for the 18 wheeler and its driver. It is a white Western Express truck with a dark cab. If you've seen it, contact authorities. Source and Video