Close call: Wichita Police Department cruiser hit by suspected drunk driver

Local

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – “It’s always something you’re worried about,” said Sedgwick County deputy Joshua Elpers.

That worry? Drunk drivers. Deputy Elpers has been patrolling streets for the last six years. He has seen first hand the impact a drunk driver can make.

“We had someone from my academy class hit, coming up on two years now. Who still is not back on patrol after being hit by a drunk driver,” he said.

Early Thursday morning, a Wichita Police Department patrol car was hit by a possible drunk driver while officers were investigating another potential drunk driving crash. The 30-year-old woman behind the wheel was going 60 mph on impact. She hit the corner of the vehicle causing it to spin out of control.

Kansas Highway Patrol troopers say close quarters get even more dangerous when adding alcohol to the mix.

“When they’re drunk, a lot of those impairments keep them from being able to do that. So us being exposed they can come and hit us or our vehicles,” said Kansas Highway Patrol Trooper Dalton Shaffett.

Law enforcement is not alone in being at risk.

“It could be anybody at any time. So we need to take personal responsibility and accountability,” said Jacqueline Cook Green, executive director for DUI Victim Center of Wichita.

The best way to avoid adding to the number of DUI accidents is to make a plan.

“You have Uber, Lyft or any of the other people you can call to get a ride, your friends,” he said.

According to the DUI Victims Center of Wichita, 30 deadly DUI accidents happen every day across the country.

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