UHP Sgt. has second close call on I-15, 5 transported to hospital

ST. GEORGE — Utah Highway Patrol Sgt. Danny Ferguson proved that history repeats itself when he was almost hit in a collision nearly identical to one he was involved in last November.

Utah Highway Patrol Sgt. Danny Ferguson had his second close call in the last year when a minivan crashed into a truck just feet from where he stood, St. George, Utah, July 31, 2015 | Photo by Nataly Burdick, St. George News
Utah Highway Patrol Sgt. Danny Ferguson had his second close call in a year when a minivan crashed into a truck just feet from where he stood, St. George, Utah, July 31, 2015 | Photo by Nataly Burdick, St. George News

Friday afternoon, Ferguson had pulled over on Interstate 15 southbound, just past the Bluff Street exit in St. George, to pick up tire debris that was in the roadway.

As he was waiting for a break in traffic so he could pick up the debris, traffic started slowing down for him, he said.

A woman driving a Chevy minivan came up on traffic too fast and swerved out of the left lane, he said, but she lost control and came into the right lane “broadside.”

The minivan hit a white Ford truck, and the two vehicles collided only a couple of feet from where Ferguson was standing.

“It was a h— of an impact,” Ferguson said. “It sounded really, really loud. It sounded terrible.”

While this time Ferguson and his patrol car were unharmed, the situation was all too similar to last year’s collision, during which Ferguson was waiting to pick up debris in the road and the driver of a white pickup truck swerved out of slowing traffic and hit into the back of his patrol car.

Ferguson was luckily uninjured in both incidents.

Utah Highway Patrol Sgt. Danny Ferguson had his second close call in the last year when a minivan crashed into a truck just feet from where he stood, St. George, Utah, July 31, 2015 | Photo by Nataly Burdick, St. George News
Utah Highway Patrol Sgt. Danny Ferguson had his second close call in a year when a minivan crashed into a truck just feet from where he stood, St. George, Utah, July 31, 2015 | Photo by Nataly Burdick, St. George News

However, Ferguson’s main concern after Friday’s collision were the passengers in the involved vehicles. There were two women in the minivan, one being the driver, and three little girls, ranging in age from about 6 months to 4 years old, Ferguson estimated.

While the children were mostly unharmed, the baby had some glass on her and the oldest girl recently had brain surgery, Ferguson said, so they were taken to the hospital as a precaution.

The woman passenger also had cuts on her arm and shoulder from glass from the windshield and passenger side window.

However, none of the passengers sustained life-threatening injuries, Ferguson said, and the baby was even smiling at him before she was transported to the hospital.

“It looks like everyone, overall, is going to be OK,” he said.

All five occupants of the minivan were transported to Dixie Regional Medical Center by Gold Cross Ambulance.

The man driving the Ford was also injured and was treated on scene for abrasions on his arms, but he refused ambulance transport.

Utah Highway Patrol Sgt. Danny Ferguson had his second close call in the last year when a minivan crashed into a truck just feet from where he stood, St. George, Utah, July 31, 2015 | Photo by Nataly Burdick, St. George News
Utah Highway Patrol Sgt. Danny Ferguson had his second close call in a year when a minivan crashed into a truck just feet from where he stood, St. George, Utah, July 31, 2015 | Photo by Nataly Burdick, St. George News

It seems everyone was wearing a seat belt, Ferguson said, and the baby was properly restrained in a car seat.

As this report is published, Ferguson said it had not been determined whether a citation would be issued in connection with the crash.

The problem with collisions like this, he said, is people reasonably assume they can drive fast on the freeway. However, he said, you never know what might be coming up.

“You have to drive a little bit further than the hood of your car,” he said.

In addition to Utah Highway Patrol, St. George Fire and the Utah Department of Transportation were also on scene.

This report is based on preliminary information provided by law enforcement or other emergency responders and may not contain the full scope of findings.

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Email: nburdick@stgnews.com

Twitter: @STGnews

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2015, all rights reserved.

 

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7 Comments

  • AnnieMated August 1, 2015 at 1:04 am

    “You have to drive a little bit further than the hood of your car,” he said”. Sage advice, sir.

  • Dmnd13 August 1, 2015 at 3:52 pm

    I witnessed this accident, it happened right behind me, Officer Ferguson was standing in the slow lane waving at the cars driving by to move in to the left traffic lane, obviously so he could pick up the tire debris on the highway. I don’t know if the lady in the van was distracted and then was startled when she noticed the officer standing in the road, and then she hit her brake to hard and all of the sudden I see her minivan in my rear view mirror going sideways and crashing in to the truck!! I’m glad the officer wasn’t injured or killed, also glad nobody was seriously injured but my question is, is it really their job to walk out into the road and pick up debris? Wouldn’t a maintenance vehicle with flashing lights be a more appropriate method?
    I just don’t think it was necessary and the whole accident could have been avoided all together.

    • fun bag August 1, 2015 at 4:49 pm

      Obstacles in the roadway are an imminent threat to public threat to public safety, and it is 100% their job… And last I checked a patrol car had lights… Back to school with you.

      • fun bag August 1, 2015 at 4:51 pm

        oops forgot to proof-read.. LOL, u get the idea 🙂

  • beentheredonethat August 1, 2015 at 7:07 pm

    Maybe he’d be better off driving a desk.

  • Guess who August 1, 2015 at 7:26 pm

    Should a tooked a cab

  • Simone August 1, 2015 at 8:32 pm

    sounds like the woman in the article should be on receiving end of a large ticket for her careless driving.

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