LOCAL NEWS

Two UHP Patrol Cars Hit On Snowy, Slick Roads

Dec 26, 2018, 7:11 PM | Updated: 8:51 pm

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Two troopers from the Utah Highway Patrol felt fortunate to escape major injury when their patrol cars were struck on the side of the road by other vehicles in two separate incidents.

Most troopers would love to have a brand new patrol car. However, they hope it doesn’t take a crash to get one.

Trooper Jim Miller has worked in his vehicle for quite a while.

“It’s got 90,000 miles on it,” he said while looking at his old car.

Miller was outside his patrol car Wednesday morning, helping another motorist near Sandy when he heard that all-too-familiar sound of a crash about to happen.

“Sometimes you hear the screech and sometimes you don’t,” he said.

Miller said a driver was traveling too fast and with bald tires in the snowy conditions when they hit the side of his patrol car.

“I’ll be honest with you. If I had been standing right there, I think I would have been dead,” he said.

(Image courtesy UHP on Twitter)

The car that hit Miller’s ended up over the curb and down the sidewalk.

Everyone was okay. However, Miller’s patrol car was the second Utah Highway Patrol car hit on the snow-covered streets after several inches fell overnight.

Another patrol car was hit from behind around 3 a.m. in Salt Lake County.

It had some minor bumper damage, and the trooper was okay. Officials said it was another example of just how dangerous the job is for emergency responders.

“Unless you’re out there and actually experience it, you really don’t understand how scary it is,” said Utah Highway Patrol Captain Jeff Nigbur. “I’ve been hit twice in my career.”

Captain Nigbur, who’s in charge of the Utah Highway Patrol section in Salt Lake, said almost every trooper has a “hit by car” story.

“You almost have to have eyes in the back of your head, and you have to have this ‘Spidey sense’ when you’re out there,” he said.

Captain Nigbur also said almost every crash where a trooper has been hit could have been avoided if the driver of the other car had just slowed down.

“Everybody has got somewhere to go, but I want my troopers to get home safe at night. That’s the biggest thing for me,” said Nigbur.

Fortunately, officials said the incidents resulted in a couple of banged-up cars and they can be replaced. The troopers on Wednesday were not seriously injured, but they could have been.

“Please keep us safe,” said Trooper Miller. “As much as we try to tell the public to slow down and pay attention, it just doesn’t seem to get through, you know? We have families, too, and we’re just trying to do our jobs.”

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Two UHP Patrol Cars Hit On Snowy, Slick Roads