Truck driver pleads guilty in sideswiping of trooper

  • Updated: November 11, 2007 - 10:09 PM

ST. CLOUD - The driver of a semitrailer truck that sideswiped a state trooper during a traffic stop along Interstate 94 has pleaded guilty.

Donald Kerkau, 46, of St. Louis, Mich., pleaded guilty Friday to criminal vehicular injury and to driving under the influence.

Kerkau's semi struck trooper Gregg Gerhartz and his squad car on June 5 while the trooper was making a traffic stop near Sauk Centre, Minn. Gerhartz broke his femur. Tests showed Kerkau had marijuana and cocaine in his system.

Gerhartz's squad car and the vehicle he had stopped were on the shoulder, and the squad car's emergency lights were on. A criminal complaint said Kerkau admitted that he had dozed off and didn't see the squad car or its emergency lights until it was too late.

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