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Trooper struck on I-65

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By Jeff D'Alessio/Landmark News Service

A Kentucky state trooper working his final shift on the force was hit by a vehicle Saturday in the northbound lane of Interstate 65 afternoon while walking on the shoulder of the road to issue a speeding ticket.

Sam Shacklette, 46, a 20-year veteran of KSP, had “about an hour left in his shift,” said KSP Post 4 spokesman Jeff Gregory. Gregory said Shacklette was scheduled to retire at midnight Saturday.

The crash happened around the 107-mile marker of I-65 when a car clipped the vehicle Shacklette had pulled over. Gregory said Shacklette stopped a speeding car and was about midway by the pulled-over vehicle when a 2002 Ford SUV driven by Louis Edward Dunn, 43, of Bonnieville, struck the car. That vehicle spun off the stopped vehicle and ended up in the shoulder of the road. The impact threw Shacklette approximately 50 feet, according to Gregory.

Shacklette was taken from the scene by ambulance to University Hospital in Louisville where he was listed in stable condition with non-life-threatening injuries Saturday night, Gregory said. There were no other injuries in the collision.

“He’s blessed,” Gre­gory said. “As bad as it was, it could have been even worse.”

Dunn was cited for failure to give right of way to a stopped emergency vehicle, operating on a expired license and having no insurance. KSP was assisted at the scene by Bullitt County EMS, Shepherdsville Fire Department, the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife and the Lebanon Junction Police Department.

Shacklette and his wife, Jodi, are heavily involved with the post’s Shop With A Trooper program that provides Christmas gifts each year for dozens of children. Jodi, a dispatcher at Post 4, “spearheads the program,” Gregory said. She was not working at the time of the crash.

The collision happened just inside the Bullitt County line.

The investigation is ongoing.

The crash is the second in August involving local emergency personnel from Hardin County. In the early morning hours of Aug. 6, Jonathan French, a volunteer with the Glendale Fire Department, was killed when a tractor-trailer slammed into a fire truck in the southbound lane as three members of the department were in the final stages of putting out a vehicle fire.

French was pronounced dead at the scene.