Driver accused of striking trooper on I-485 charged

Updated: Jul. 10, 2020 at 8:37 AM EDT
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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - A driver accused of striking a highway patrol officer who was investigating a crash along I-485 last weekend is being charged.

Trooper Adolfo Lopez-Alcedo was near the scene where five people were killed in a wreck the night before when a car struck him Saturday morning on the outer loop of Interstate 485 at West W.T. Harris Boulevard. Adolfo Lopez-Alcedo, who was previously listed in “very critical condition,” is in a medically-induced coma in intensive care.

Highway Patrol says Troy Douglas Edmiston was charged with felony Move Over Violation in the case.

According to a GoFundMe created for Lopez-Alcedo family, Lopez-Alcedo has a long fight ahead of him to recovery.

“He has suffered significant injuries to his body and brain, the extent of which have not been fully diagnosed, the GoFundMe said. “His recovery will take months or even years, will require countless medical appointments and unknown expenses for this amazing family.”

The State Highway Patrol is now implementing a five-trooper team and assigning them to vehicle enforcement only on I-485. Troopers say those officers will not be answering calls for service, and that the Mecklenburg County Sheriff’s Department will be assisting with the project.

The team of troopers will solely focus on patrolling I-485 for speeding, which they say is the major factor when it comes to crashes on highways. The focus will begin on the area of I-485 where the recent crashes happened, saying it’s that area that needs the most patrolling.

Trooper Lopez-Alcedo was in the process of shutting down I-485 on Saturday so that the Highway Patrol’s Reconstruction Team could relaunch some drones to get aerial photographs of the road, North Carolina Highway Patrol Trooper Ray Pierce told WBTV News.

“The trooper had made it to Exit 21,” Pierce said. “He started slowing traffic down. He exited his patrol vehicle, was in the process of shutting down lanes of travel when his vehicle was struck by a motor vehicle. His patrol vehicle then struck him at a high rate of speed.”

Trooper Lopez-Alcedo is assigned to Troop H, District 5 (Mecklenburg County) and is a two-year veteran of the State Highway Patrol. The North Carolina State Highway Patrol Collision Reconstruction Unit is conducting the investigation.

Troopers are still investigating Saturday’s collision. The driver who struck the trooper’s car has not been charged, and Pierce said they’re “trying to piece together the sequence of events.”

Five people were killed, including four members of a Belmont family, in a series of crashes on Interstate 485 the night before Lopez-Alcedo was struck. That wreck started by a driver speeding at over 100 mph, authorities said.

A Go Fund Me has been created to help the family with medical costs. You can donate here.

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