St. George, South Carolina - A South Carolina Highway Patrol SUV crashed this afternoon while traveling East bound on I-26 near I-95. The trooper Lance Cpl. A.S. English was taken to Medical University of South Carolina Hospital with injuries that are not considered to be life threatening. Trooper English was released from the hospital early this evening. A K-9 Officer traveling with Lance Cpl English was not injured.
At least a dozen SCHP and Dorchester County sheriff's deputies converged on the scene to aid their fellow officers.
Traffic in both east and west bound lanes was backed up for nearly 5 miles, resulting in at least two additional minor accidents.
The trooper's accident is under investigation.
Lance Cpl English was taking part in a state wide crack down in effect from today until the end of the Thanksgiving weekend which is Sunday at midnight. The SCHP is looking to deter motorists from drinking and driving, speeding and driving aggressively.
According to the SCHP last year, 10 people were killed on state highways during the Thanksgiving holiday period, which runs from 6 p.m. Wednesday to Sunday at midnight.
Nine people were killed in 2006 during the Thanksgiving holiday period and 10 in 2005.
A SCHP press release sent to media outlets on Monday offered the following information:
"Law enforcement will focus on proactive enforcement to prevent similar statistics. Some of those efforts will include public safety checkpoints where motorists should be prepared to show their license, registration and insurance; special radar enforcement, including hand-held LIDAR, especially on major travel routes and interstates; and strict enforcement of restraint laws, particularly child restraint."