ITALY

Italy Police Lt. Guy Saxon was taken to an area hospital after he was struck by a vehicle while clearing debris off of Interstate Highway 35E on Monday morning.

The crash took place at about 6:53 a.m., just two miles of Forreston.

Texas Department of Public Safety Sgt. Sara Warren stated Saxon was moving a mattress out of the northbound lanes of traffic. The officer was hit as he was in the right-hand shoulder of the highway.

“The officer located the debris, stopped the patrol vehicle on the right shoulder and activated the emergency light to warn oncoming traffic,” Warren said. “Traffic was slowing for the officer who was in the process of removing debris from the interstate.”

Warren stated that, for an undetermined reason, the driver of a white 2001 Dodge Ram pickup, Austin Honeycutt, 21, of Brandon, went into a side skid and struck Saxon. The officer was transported by ground ambulance to Methodist Dallas Medical Center with non-life threatening injuries.

Methodist Health System PIO Ryan Owens stated Saxon is in stable condition and remains in ICU.

Honeycutt and his passenger, Dustin Kline, 21, of Bynum, were not injured.

Warren stated charges against Honeycutt are pending at this time.

The highway was shut down until about 8:30 a.m. while law enforcement officers worked the scene and traffic was diverted around the accident.

Responding to the scene were members of the Italy Fire and Police Departments, the Ellis County Sheriff’s Office and DPS.

Warren stressed the importance of paying attention to the traffic that is not just in front of a person’s vehicle, but further down the road.

“When you are driving, look ahead a mile or so ahead so you can prepare for an unexpected slowing of traffic on the interstate,” Warren said.

The crash remains under investigation at this time by DPS.