Misfortune recently struck a 15-year-old girl driving with her permit near Union Gap, Wash.
Actually, it was the girl who struck something -- a Washington State Patrol car stopped on the shoulder of Interstate 82.
The young driver was westbound on the freeway around 6 p.m. on Dec. 12 when she changed lanes, lost control, crashed into a guardrail, and rammed the trooper’s car, which had its emergency lights on.
Reports don’t say if weather was a factor, but the high temperature that day never exceeded 31 degrees.
A 51-year-old passenger in the girl’s Ford Taurus was treated and released from the hospital. Both he and the driver wear wearing seat belts. No one else suffered injuries, but the Taurus was a total loss.
The State Patrol didn’t say if the girl was changing lanes to move away from, or toward, the parked police car.
Beginning drivers, take note: State law requires you to move away from the highway lane or shoulder occupied by an emergency vehicle. That includes police cars, ambulances, fire trucks, and tow trucks. You must move over at least 200 feet before and after the vehicle. If a lane change is unsafe, you must slow down and proceed with caution.