Accidents happen, and sometimes to the people who are usually the ones responding when someone else is hurt.

On February 23 of this year, Trooper Tommie Pillow was involved in a single motorcycle collision on Highway 520. Luckily it was after rush hour, but Trooper Pillow had severely injured his leg and was unable to move out of the way of traffic. I can’t imagine how frightening it would be to be lying across a lane of the highway, unable to move, with oncoming traffic approaching at highway speeds.

Luckily, Nathan Redman and Jason Cullen saw the crash and thought quickly. They did not hesitate to help. First, they protected the injured trooper by blocking traffic with their pick up. Then they lifted and moved the motorcycle onto the shoulder. Because of their quick action, Trooper Pillow didn’t experience further injury and no one had to dangerously swerve into other traffic to avoid him.

Redman and Cullen will be honored today with the Chief’s Coin, which honors Good Samaritans. 

Luckily, it’s not as often as one might think that troopers are killed in the line of duty, considering how much time they spend on the road. But fatalities do occur, and here is a list of fallen troopers. It’s why there’s something called the Move Over Law, which I’ve written about before. In fact, between 2007 and 2014, 212 Washington State Patrol (WSP) vehicles were struck while conducting traffic stops or providing motorist assistance. Three troopers and multiple citizens have been injured in collisions over the last seven years, as a result of vehicles either striking the trooper or a parked emergency vehicle.

It’s everyone’s responsibility to drive safely, and pay attention to changing road conditions at all times. Never drive distracted or drunk. If you’re injured by someone who was, call Bill Coats Law – you don’t have to suffer financially from their negligence. We serve accident victims in Bellingham and throughout Whatcom County with empathy and grit, and are here for you.





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