PAW PAW, Mich. (WOOD) — A semi-truck driver has been sentenced to years behind bars after a crash that injured a state trooper in April, according to court records.
On Tuesday, Easton Norby-Vardac, of Virginia, was sentenced to up to five years in prison, with credit for approximately 4 months served, court records show.
In May, he pleaded no contest to reckless driving causing serious impairment of a bodily function and failing to use due care when passing a stationary emergency vehicle.
The charges stem from an April 8 crash on I-94 near Lawrence where a Michigan State Police trooper was hit by a semi-truck, driven by Norby-Vardac. The trooper, Cole Knaup, had been stopped in the right lane of I-94 for a previous traffic stop when the semi smashed into the back of his cruiser. The crash was captured on dashcam footage released by MSP.
Knaup was trapped in his vehicle and had to be freed by first responders. He was taken to the hospital, where he was diagnosed with a concussion and suffered cuts and bruises. He did not return to work for several weeks following the crash, but MSP said Tuesday that Knaup was back at work and “doing great.”
A spokesperson for MSP said these tragedies happen to police more than you’d think.
“As law enforcement officers, we know that these things happen,” Robinson said. “Way more than the general public knows. That’s because we’re out patrolling the roads and policing crashes all the time.”
The department used this crash to bring attention to a “Move Over” campaign, which is also in honor of Trooper Rick Johnson, who was struck and killed by a vehicle on I-94 in Van Buren County back in May of 2000.