62nd Highway Patrol (MP)
 Germany      1948 - 1958

Stories of the Highway Patrol



   by  Edward F. Smith




On a cold Sunday morning during the winter of 56-57, I was on duty with my partner, whose name I don't remember. It had been raining and there was a thin sheet of ice covering everything, including the Autobahn. We were traveling South on the Karlsruhe Autobahn just outside of Heidelberg and South of Patrick Henry Village. The traffic was light that morning. To our front we noticed an American vehicle traveling at what seemed to be 55 miles per hour. I mentioned to my partner that I didn't think that the operator of the vehicle was aware of the ice on the roadway.


I increased my speed with caution and slowly we came up near the vehicle, I turned on my red light in an effort to try and slow the vehicle down. I am not sure if his windows were iced over in the rear of the vehicle, I don't recall. The operator of the vehicle failed to notice the red light and continued down the autobahn. I eased up on the left side to a point where I could get his attention and avoid his vehicle in the event he panicked when I got his attention. I blew the horn and my partner and I both were giving him the hand signal to slow down. Sure enough, he panicked and applied his brakes; I immediately removed my foot from the accelerator. The speeding vehicle went spinning down the center of both lanes of the Autobahn. After making five or six circles, the vehicle came to a stop, the vehicle then moved to the right side of the road. I eased the patrol vehicle in behind the vehicle and proceeded to get out of the vehicle.


As my patrol partner and I approached the driver you could tell that he was somewhat shaken by what had just taken place. I informed the driver whom we identified as a 2nd Lt. that we only wanted him to slow down, that he was driving to fast for the icy condition of the road. The Lt. quickly let us know that he was unaware of the icy condition of the roadway [Black Ice] and thanked us for what we had done and assured us that he would slow down. The Lt. continued South in the direction of Karlsruhe and I am sure that he made the rest of his trip safely and without incident




This story previously appeared in Volume # 9, Issue # 54, July-August-September 2006 edition of "The White Mice"


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