Nowata police officer struck by Jeep while directing traffic

NOWATA, Okla. — Nowata Police Officer Kyle Walton was directing traffic on Monday night for the Nowata County Sheriff’s Office, lending a helping hand on his day off.

Now, he is in the hospital with several broken bones.

Nowata Police Chief Mike McElhaney said he was able to speak to Walton Tuesday morning.

“I was able to talk to him on FaceTime this morning,” he said. “He was himself, but I could tell he was in severe pain.”

Walton was standing with his lit up patrol car in a busy intersection, helping drivers get around a pick-up truck and trailer that ran into a ditch on the north bound lane of Route 169. Traffic had been closed to just the south bound lane.

Even with the police lights on and reduced traffic, police said Walton was hit by a Jeep and thrown in the air, despite him being 6-foot-10 and 300 pounds.

“He turned to face the driver just as he was struck,” McElhaney said. “I know they said it knocked him several feet in the air. It actually did do damage to the vehicle that hit him, I believe. And he’s got pretty significant injuries, not life threatening.”

The Oklahoma Highway Patrol (OHP) responded to the incident and OHP Trooper Eric Foster said the driver was not intoxicated but was inattentive to the roadway.

Foster also said, at scenes like collisions or construction areas, people working in the roadway are vulnerable to the traffic around them.

“It’s very dangerous,” he said. “There’s debris in the roadway. It can be very dangerous for you as well. And so, the attention to what is going on is very important and also decreasing your speeds in these areas, these work zones.”

Not paying attention will cost you a ticket, but it could cost someone a life.

Walton was transported to St. John Hospital in Tulsa and the driver was cited for inattentive driving.





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