Dashcam video: Utah State trooper nearly hit by sliding car
FARMINGTON – Utah State Trooper Sgt. Nate Powell said he had to think quickly as a sliding car came plowing toward him and into another Trooper’s patrol car. It was the second that slid into that officer’s car in less than 30 minutes.
Monday’s snowstorm brought treacherous conditions for many drivers and for the dozens of first responders that came to their aid, after some 682 crashes along the Wasatch front, from Utah County, up through Weber County.
Powell said he had already experienced a busy morning by the time he was asked to assist with a slide-off along I-15 at the southbound on-ramp connector from US-89 about 1 p.m.
“One of our troopers responded, got on scene, and recognized it was an unsafe situation,” Powell explained of the trooper who responded to the initial slide-off. “[He] had the driver get out and get in his patrol car.”
Moments later, Powell said another vehicle started sliding, and slammed into the back of the trooper’s car. That’s when Powell responded to a call to help control traffic in the area. He closed off the right lane.
“As I was finished setting up my cones, I saw a car coming really fast on the right side,” Powell recalled. “I made eye-contact. And right when I made eye-contact with the driver, I saw he reacted. I saw the tires turn, but the car continued to go straight.”
Powell said he had only seconds to make a choice. He initially considered jumping over the cement barrier, onto nearby train tracks. He instead ran toward the only remaining open lane of traffic.
“I was able to run towards the travel lane,” Powell said. “I had to get away from the car and I avoided getting hit, but he continued to slide into the patrol car where the sergeant and other driver were still in the vehicle.”
Dashcam video shows Powell running across the closed-off right lane, just seconds before the car made impact with the patrol car.
“Luckily, I had enough time,” he said. “I was able to run out of the way, but it was coming quick.”
Powell pointed out that some 35 to 40 other vehicles were able to safely move around the cones he had set up for one simple reason: the drivers had slowed down. He said dozens of other accidents Monday could have been avoided if other drivers had done the same.
“Even though roads may look clear when it’s this cold and snowy, you need to slow down,” Powell explained. “You might feel in control, but it only takes that one little spot to lose control.”
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