SILER CITY (WTVD) --Two Highway Patrol troopers are off the streets and recovering at home after being injured in a crash. Authorities says the troopers were hit by a driver who failed to move over.
The crash happened Wednesday on Highway 64 and Bowers Store Road in Siler City.
The Highway Patrol says Derek Bowden, of Pleasant Garden, was driving a 1999 Chevrolet and failed to reduce speed. He rear-ended the trooper's charger.
Authorities say the blue lights were flashing to alert motorists to move over.
The Highway Patrol has not released the troopers' names. The agency told ABC11 the troopers will be off-duty for a while.
Authorities says these types of crashes are all too common.
Last month in Durham, another Charger was side-swiped. The trooper was led away on a stretcher.
The Highway Patrol pulled that cruiser out of storage to show ABC11 the damage. The back windshield is busted out, a tail light is missing, the back bumper is gone, and there's shattered glass on every seat.
"The impact can be catastrophic," said Highway Patrol spokesperson Sgt. Jeff Gordon. "Since 1999 across the country, we've had over 150 law enforcement officers struck and killed on traffic stops. North Carolina is not immune to that."
Two troopers have been killed in North Carolina since 2001.
"It's extremely dangerous. It's frustrating. We need people to just kind of be aware of your environment," said Sgt. Gordon.
The troopers in the Siler City crash are expected to be OK.
ABC11 has learned Bowden was arrested shortly after the accident. The 32-year-old had outstanding warrants. Authorities say Bowden failed to appear in court after being charged with hit and run, speeding, and reckless driving in Wake County.
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