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Idaho snowplow driver recognized for preventing what could have been a fatal crash

Gil Wright, a snowplow driver with the Idaho Transportation Department, is being recognized after he prevented what could have been a tragedy.

Gil Wright, a snowplow driver with the Idaho Transportation Department, is being recognized after he prevented what could have been a tragedy. (Andrea Olson, EastIdahoNews.com)


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SODA SPRINGS, Idaho — An Idaho snowplow driver is being recognized after he prevented what could have been a tragedy.

Gil Wright, a transportation supervisor with the Idaho Transportation Department, was plowing snow on U.S. Highway 30 west of Soda Springs on Nov. 27. He spotted a pickup pulling a car from a ditch.

"I pulled my truck (over) with the lights on and figured that would be safe in case someone came over, they could safely move over into the travel lane," Wright told EastIdahoNews.com.

He wanted to block approaching traffic from hitting the car and pickup. It was icy that day.

"I saw in my rearview mirror a car lost control and went to the other side of the road and then came back and slammed into the back of my truck, which very likely would have slammed into the back of the (pickup) truck and the (stuck) car and the people in the road," Wright said.

No one was hurt.

By having the plow where it was, Wright likely saved lives or prevented injuries.

Wright was awarded a safety challenge coin from the Idaho Transportation Department this month. The coin is given to employees to recognize what they have done for safety and going above and beyond.

The award was presented by operations engineer Greydon Wright.

Gil Wright was awarded a safety challenge coin from the Idaho Transportation Department this month. The coin is given to employees to recognize what they have done for safety and going above and beyond.
Gil Wright was awarded a safety challenge coin from the Idaho Transportation Department this month. The coin is given to employees to recognize what they have done for safety and going above and beyond. (Photo: Andrea Olson, EastIdahoNews.com)

"Our crews are dedicated to the safety of others and themselves," Greydon said. "This was just one example of how we think about others and their safety. Had Gil not done what he did, this could have been a tragic story."

The snowplow driver said he had never gotten an award like this before and was grateful. He said he just went off of his instinct.

"I didn't think anything about it. When I saw them there, my instinct is: I am going to go out and hopefully save somebody from coming up and hitting them," he said.

For Wright, who has been with the department for 20 years, it's normal for him and others he works with to try and keep people safe.

"There's a lot of transportation people that do that type of thing every day, and I think it's great. I think we do our job because we like helping people. I like to make sure someone gets to where they are going safely," he said.

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Andrea Olson

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