A highway patrol officer with more than 20 years on the job was airlifted to the hospital Monday after a tractor-trailer rear-ended his vehicle on the Long Island Expressway as he was in the car diverting traffic as part of a construction detail, authorities said.
Suffolk officer Arthur Hill was directing traffic off the highway at Exit 60 in Lake Ronkonkoma when the tractor-trailer hit his vehicle shortly before 5 a.m. The impact flung Hill's car several hundred feet, according to Noel DiGerolamo, president of the Suffolk police union, and police say it hit a guardrail.
Hill was taken to the hospital with neck and back pain; DiGerolamo said the officer also had a concussion. Hill was expected to remain at the hospital overnight and be discharged Tuesday, DiGerolamo said.
DiGerolamo says it appears Hill's patrol car got in the path of the truck as he was directing traffic and the tractor-trailer driver could not avoid hitting him. A safety check was being conducted on the truck.
No criminality is suspected.
"It appears to have been an unintentional act," the union chief said. "Just the nature of the job of a police officer on a highway."