A Wichita motorcycle officer is in serious condition after a crash near Kellogg and Grove in east Wichita. Her injuries are significant, but not life-threatening.
The officer was caught in an "accordion effect" as vehicles began slowing down for construction at Kellogg and Hillside, Lt. Jeff Allen said. As she tried to change lanes, she clipped the back of a pickup truck.
The crash was reported at 2:09 p.m. on Wednesday and eastbound Kellogg was closed for about an hour.
During the crash, she laid the motorcycle on top of her, which is common to do when trying to avoid more serious injuries, Allen said. She was taken to a hospital with significant injuries to her face, but Allen said her gear did its job in protecting her.
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She is a 20-year veteran of the police department, an experienced motorcycle driver and one of the instructors in the motorcycle unit, Allen said. She was identified by police on Thursday as Tricia Tiede.
In a tweet posted late Wednesday night, Chief Gordon Ramsay said the officer suffered broken ribs, an injured lung and shoulder and some bumps and bruises.
"She joked speeders will be happy she's out of service for a while," Ramsay tweeted.
Allen said the pickup had a topper that may have prevented the officer from seeing that other vehicles were slowing down.
"This is basically just driving down Kellogg and you have kind of a chain reaction thing going on with construction where all the vehicles were slowing down," Allen said. "All the cars in front of her were slowing down and stopping rapidly, and she did the same thing, but then had to make an evasive lane change to avoid that truck in front of her, clipped that truck and ended up laying the bike over."
Speed was not a factor, based off witness statements and indication from the road. If it were, there would have been longer gouge marks, Allen said.
Contributing: Stan Finger of the Eagle