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Utah Highway Patrol

Trooper almost hit on snowy Utah freeway; more than 130 crashes reported

By Ashley Imlay, KSL | Posted - Jan 16th, 2019 @ 7:35pm


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WILLARD, Box Elder County — The Utah Highway Patrol is urging drivers to slow down in icy conditions after a car crashed into a trooper's vehicle on a snowy freeway and "narrowly missed" the trooper himself on Wednesday.

About 11 a.m, trooper Steve Shaffer was setting up traffic control on I-15 following a crash south of Brigham City. He was behind his midsize SUV getting a traffic sign and flares out of it when he heard an approaching vehicle.

"The vehicle was sliding right into me, and I was able to go over the median barrier wall that was on my left," Shaffer said.

"Yeah, it was scary. Just before that, another vehicle went by really fast, and I turned back to open my lift gate. When I heard that noise, (I) looked back and saw this car careening toward me. And it was just enough time to allow me to get over the median barrier wall when I heard the crash and then was able to check on the woman driver of that vehicle," Shaffer recalled.

The crash occurred on the shoulder of I-15 near Willard, in Box Elder County. No serious injuries were reported.

However, the trooper "narrowly" missed being crushed between the two cars, according to a tweet from UHP after the accident urging the public that "our heads are always on a swivel out there, but please help us out and #slowdownmoveover."

That crash was one of more than 130 in Utah on Wednesday, troopers said.


It is preventable, if people would just slow down and look far enough ahead, and just know that it's gonna take you a lot longer to stop when there's snow and slush and ice on the road.

–Steve Shaffer, UHP trooper


UHP asked drivers to decrease their speeds "by at least 75 percent of the speed limit" on snow-packed, icy roads.

Shaffer echoed that statement.

"If it's snowing and there's slush and ice and snow on the road, slow down. Drive considerably slower than the speed limit says," he said.

He also cautioned drivers to "look ahead" and look far enough ahead to see approaching lights, as well as to move over and slow down for emergency vehicles.

"This could've ended a lot worse. It is preventable, if people would just slow down and look far enough ahead, and just know that it's gonna take you a lot longer to stop when there's snow and slush and ice on the road," Shaffer said.


Correction: In a previous version, the date in photo captions was incorrectly listed as Dec. 16, 2018. The photos were taken on Jan. 16, 2019.

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Ashley Imlay

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