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I-80 closed after semi sideswipes trooper, 2 other vehicles before crashing

A semi sideswiped a Utah Highway Patrol vehicle and another semi on I-80 in Tooele County on Wednesday before rolling and catching fire. All westbound lanes near Grantsville were expected to remain closed for several hours.

A semi sideswiped a Utah Highway Patrol vehicle and another semi on I-80 in Tooele County on Wednesday before rolling and catching fire. All westbound lanes near Grantsville were expected to remain closed for several hours. (Utah Highway Patrol)


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GRANTSVILLE — A semitruck driver who was trying to change lanes to give a Utah Highway Patrol trooper room, ended up hitting another car, the trooper's vehicle, and the semi the trooper had pulled over before his rig rolled and caught fire, according to the UHP.

The crash and cleanup shut down all westbound lanes of I-80 near Grantsville. Troopers were working on opening up one lane later Wednesday, and were sending a crew to put a barricade up for lane cleanup on the other, said UHP Sgt. Cameron Roden. He expected the cleanup to go into the late afternoon, and didn't think the highway would be fully reopened until late evening.

The crash happened at about 10 a.m. Wednesday. A trooper had pulled over a semi on the right shoulder of I-80, Roden said. The trooper's patrol SUV was parked behind the semi-tractor trailer, and the trooper was at the cab's passenger door talking to the driver when a second semi approached.

The oncoming semi was in the right lane and attempted to switch to the left lane to give the trooper room, Roden said. However, the driver did not see another vehicle in his blind spot and hit the car, he said.

When that happened, the semi tried to quickly correct into the right lane and ended up side-swiping both the trooper's vehicle and the semi that was pulled over. Both vehicles were significantly damaged, Roden said.

The second semi ended up traveling a little further down I-80 after hitting the vehicles before rolling onto its side. The cab of the semi came to a stop in the median and caught fire, Roden said. The driver was able to get out before the cab was fully engulfed.

The trailer and the load of eggs it was hauling ended up blocking all lanes of traffic. The road was expected to remain closed for several hours as crews cleaned up the wreck and got the eggs off the road.

A man and woman in the vehicle that was hit were taken to a local hospital with injuries not considered to be life-threatening. The driver of the semi that hit the vehicles was not injured, nor was the trooper of the semi driver already pulled over.

The investigation into the crash, and whether the semi driver would be cited, was ongoing as of Wednesday afternoon.

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Pat Reavy is a longtime police and courts reporter. He joined the KSL.com team in 2021, after many years of reporting at the Deseret News and KSL NewsRadio before that.

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