PALMER (CBS/AP) — Massachusetts State Police say a trooper and three others have been injured in an accident allegedly caused by a driver cited for having an open container of alcohol.

Trooper Steven Larocco of the Northampton barracks was taken to Baystate Medical Center after his stopped cruiser was hit from behind Sunday morning. He had pulled up behind a vehicle stopped on the Turnpike in Palmer.

A hospital spokeswoman says he was treated and released.

State police spokesman Dave Procopio said the trooper is lucky to be alive. “He was in the cruiser, which was another stroke of good fortune. Had he been outside, between the cruiser and the vehicle in front of him, this very well could have been a tragedy.”

WBZ News Radio’s Doug Cope reports.

Police cited 40-year-old Robert Murangi of Federal Way, Wash., for failure to take care in stopping and having an open container of alcohol. He was not injured but two passengers were.

It was not known if Murangi was represented by a lawyer.

Police say the driver of the stopped vehicle was taken to Baystate Medical Center with minor injuries.

(TM and © Copyright 2010 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2010 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

Comments (14)
  1. Cynic says:

    With all the Accidents of this sort wonder if The State Police might not be advised to look at how it stops Vehicles.With the PA system in the Cruiser they might direct to Driver toward a safer area. They do have the push Bumper on their Cruiser. The Old Mets always pushed the breakdown to the next couout.

    1. Vote Saxon says:

      I agree completly

  2. cynic says:

    How much time do we have to make a comment? If we go back to correct typos it times oiu and we have to do it again or give up because we have lost our train of thought. Maybe we could just leave in the typos and hope that everyone would know what we meant.

  3. cynic says:

    I wonder If a Statie has ever been cited for failing to use care when stopping someone.

  4. macmum says:

    I can’t believe we have another officer put at risk and almost killed – NOT because he didn’t follow protocol BUT because another A-hole that had no regard for the police patroling the area, the other drivers on the road or his own passengers decided that it was OKAY to drive under the influence! Seriously??? this is not about the police out there doing their jobs to protect’s about the idiots out there with car keys that shouldn’t have them!

  5. emom says:


  6. cynic says:

    All I said was that maybe there is a better way to do it. I find it hard to believe that the roadways arefilled with duunks just out looking for Cars to ram into.

  7. cynic says:

    What is “Pingback” and what does it have to do with anything?

  8. MEDAVE says:

    There is a better way Cynic…Shoot their tires out……

  9. emom says:

    No theres an even better way,, never let a drunk driver get behind the wheel agaon, once caught lock their sorry hudes up and throw away the keys… never let themout EVER……… Bars should never let anyone out of their establishments DRUNK , no reason too.. unless they want to be held accountable… which they should,, PERIOD…..

  10. macmum says:

    Cynic – it’s not hard for those that are out there on the road all the time from tow truck drivers to police to be “found” by a drunk driver. If only these losers would grow a brain or conscience, then everyone else wouldn’t spend their days worrying if they will make it home at the end of a shift and people like you and I would not have to worry about making it home from work in one piece. The bottom line is that because they are out there doing their job, they become targets, they aren’t targets because they are not doing their jobs.

  11. Fenring says:

    The trooper sped by us going at least 20 miles over the speed limit and then a couple miles up ahead we were forced to wait because the troopers vehicle was involved in an accident.

    1. macmum says:

      Uhh are you sure it was the same trooper that was in this accident? And even so, he was rear ended while his vehicle was parked. So, what difference does that make? Is it possible he was rushing to a call maybe??? We don’t know that either.

  12. Another Cynic says:

    The news article says that the driver was cited for having an open container in the car, not for drunk driving, which tells me that they probably administered a sobriety test and he passed (they must have and if he was drunk he would have been charged with DUI). It was a bad judgment call to have the open container, to allow his passengers to be drinking while he drove, but that does not mean he was drunk. Just my two cents.

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