Driver smashes into UHP vehicle on I-15 with trooper still inside

UHP trooper's vehicle is struck on I-15 near mile marker 139 by a motorist who lost control and slid into the rear of the car with the trooper still inside Thursday, Millard County, Utah, Dec. 21, 2017 | Photo courtesy of the Utah Highway Patrol, St. George News

ST. GEORGE —  A Utah Highway Patrol trooper was transported to the hospital with minor injuries after he pulled to the side of Interstate 15 near Fillmore to assist another motorist, and an SUV slammed into the rear of his patrol vehicle Thursday.

Dark Toyota SUV strikes a UHP trooper’s vehicle after the driver lost control of the vehicle on I-15 near mile marker 139 Thursday, Millard County, Utah, Dec. 21, 2017 | Photo courtesy of the Utah Highway Patrol, St. George News

Shortly after 1:30 p.m., responders were dispatched to a two-vehicle crash on Interstate 15 southbound near mile post 139 involving a dark Toyota SUV that struck a UHP vehicle, Sgt. Todd Royce said in a statement Friday.

The trooper suffered minor injuries and was transported to Fillmore Hospital for evaluation and treatment.

According to information obtained during the investigation, the trooper pulled off of the roadway to help a motorist whose car had slid off of the interstate.

The trooper’s vehicle was stopped on the right-hand shoulder of the interstate with the passenger’s side tires of the car off of the pavement and his lights activated.

While advising Richfield Emergency Communications of his location and status a man driving the Toyota lost control of the SUV that went careening off the roadway and slammed into the back of the patrol vehicle with the trooper still sitting inside.

The driver told officers he was traveling at 78 mph when the incident occurred, with a posted speed limit of 75 mph. At the time of the crash, UDOT overhead traffic message signs were cautioning drivers to lower their speed due to weather conditions.

The trooper was treated and released from the hospital a short time later.

The motorist reported he was uninjured in the crash and was later cited for driving too fast for existing conditions.

Image distributed by the Utah Highway Patrol during its “Move Over 17” public awareness campaign in Murray, Utah, May 31, 2017 | Image courtesy of the Utah Highway Patrol, St. George News

“We would like to remind motorists to slow down and move over for emergency vehicles. Please help us keep our troopers safe,” Royce said in the statement.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration 71 percent of Americans are unaware that “Move Over” laws exist in their state.

Utah enacted its Move Over Law in 2002, most recently amended in 2016 to address those traveling in a high-occupancy vehicle, or HOV, lane. The law aims to protect law enforcement personnel, emergency responders, highway workers, tow truck drivers and others who are stopped at the side of the road, including those who pull over in need of assistance.

This law requires drivers to slow down and move over when approaching stationary emergency or service vehicles, tow trucks and highway maintenance vehicles.

Millard County Sheriff’s Office conducted the investigation into the incident.

This report is based on statements from police or other emergency responders and may not contain the full scope of findings.

Email: cblowers@stgnews.com

Twitter: @STGnews

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2017, all rights reserved.

 

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3 Comments

  • PatriotLiberal December 22, 2017 at 4:17 pm

    So glad to know that the hero he hit survived with only minor injuries.

  • Kyle L. December 22, 2017 at 5:45 pm

    Great outcome on the Christmas Season! So glad to hear everyone is o.k. and there is no lasting consequences. Remember, Jesus is the reason for the season!

  • indy-vfr December 22, 2017 at 8:05 pm

    I was was on N Bound I-15 Thursday morning as far as I-70 and then East. ANYONE going close to the Speed Limit in those conditions needs their head examined!!!!! Did the Toyota “driver” notice all the cars in the ditch? How about the 18 wheeler on it’s side in the median?

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