UHP Trooper Talks After Close-Call Crash

Jul 8, 2019, 6:10 PM | Updated: 6:19 pm
(Image courtesy Utah Highway Patrol)...
(Image courtesy Utah Highway Patrol)
(Image courtesy Utah Highway Patrol)

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – A Utah Highway Patrol Trooper says it’s a “miracle” that he or someone else wasn’t killed when a truck suddenly smashed into his car and flew right over the top of it.

“Just a mile or two in speed difference could have been much different,” said Trooper Riley Rugg.

He spoke about this experience Monday. The horrific crash was partially caught on his dash camera.

“Honestly, when it happened, I couldn’t believe it was happening. Everything slowed down a little bit,” Trooper Rugg said. “It’s a miracle that we weren’t hurt.

It was about 7:30 p.m. on Sunday when Trooper Rugg was handling a crash scene on the westbound traffic lanes of Interstate 80 up Parley’s Canyon. He was pulled over to the side of the road and one of the crash victims was inside his patrol car.

That’s when he says he heard a second crash behind his car.

“(I) looked up and saw a truck impact the back of my vehicle. The first thing on my mind was to make sure that everybody was alright, to get the road blocked off,” said Trooper Rugg.

The 22-year-old trooper had just nine months on the force with UHP, but said his training as a Marine helped keep him calm.

“While in the Marine Corp they taught us a lot about mindset, and when the crash occurred I had a lot of adrenaline going, but I tried to stay calm and breathe, and make sure I was doing my job to keep everyone else safe,” he said.

The man inside the patrol car had to be extracted from the car by emergency crews, but walked away unhurt. The woman driving the truck was ejected and was taken to the hospital.

Trooper Rugg did have some debris hit his leg and knocked him down but he still managed to immediately call for help.

He said the truck landed at the very spot he and the tow truck driver were standing just seconds before.

Major Steven Windward with the UHP said this is another reminder of the importance for drivers to follow the law to slow down or move over when you see emergency crews on the shoulder.

“(It was a) very close call. This is one of the things we as administrators dread,” said Major Windward. “Be aware of your surroundings. (When) you have a trooper pulled over, you should slow down or move over – not only for our troopers but anyone who is pulled over.”

KSL 5 TV Live

Top Stories

Local News

Follow @KSL5TV...

Dancing for a cause with Casey Scott

A Utah County social media influencer who battled cancer is now organizing shows to help raise money for others who are also going through health trials. 
17 hours ago
(The Consumer Product Safety Commission)...
Eliza Pace

These toys have been recalled for lead paint levels

The Salt Lake County Health Department is warning consumers about three products that have been recalled.
17 hours ago
(National Center for Missing & Exploited Children)...
Madison Swenson

Teen missing, last seen in South Salt Lake on Oct. 25

Authorities are asking for the public's help in locating a 14-year-old girl who was last seen on Oct. 25, 2022.
17 hours ago
The Utah backcountry (KSL-TV)...
Mike Anderson & Jed Boal, KSL-TV

Utah Avalanche Awareness week provides training for skiers

The Utah Avalanche Center is offering classes on how to prepare yourself for avalanches during Avalanche Awareness Week.
17 hours ago
Delicate Arch in national park as the sun and moon set...
Eliza Pace

Trial begins in wrongful death suit of woman killed by gate in Arches National Park

A trial began Monday for a woman killed by an unsecured gate at Arches National Park in 2020. 
17 hours ago
A Granite School District sign is pictured at the district's offices in South Salt Lake on Monday, ...
Michael Houck

School officials and police investigate threat made toward Kearns High

Granite School District officials reassured parents that a photo post suggesting a threat towards Kearns High was "unsubstantiated." 
17 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

house with for rent sign posted...
Chase Harrington, president and COO of Entrata

Top 5 reasons you may want to consider apartment life over owning a home

There are many benefits of renting that can be overshadowed by the allure of buying a home. Here are five reasons why renting might be right for you.
Festive kitchen in Christmas decorations. Christmas dining room....
Lighting Design

6 Holiday Decor Trends to Try in 2022

We've rounded out the top 6 holiday decor trends for 2022 so you can be ahead of the game before you start shopping. 
Happy diverse college or university students are having fun on their graduation day...
BYU MBA at the Marriott School of Business

How to choose what MBA program is right for you: Take this quiz before you apply!

Wondering what MBA program is right for you? Take this quiz before you apply to see if it will help you meet your goals.
Diverse Group of Energetic Professionals Team Meeting in Modern Office: Brainstorming IT Programmer...
Les Olson

Don’t let a ransomware attack get you down | Protect your workplace today with cyber insurance

Business owners and operators should be on guard to protect their workplace. Cyber insurance can protect you from online attacks.
Hand turning a thermostat knob to increase savings by decreasing energy consumption. Composite imag...
Lighting Design

5 Lighting Tips to Save Energy and Money in Your Home

Advances in lighting technology make it easier to use smart features to cut costs. Read for tips to save energy by using different lighting strategies in your home.
Portrait of smiling practitioner with multi-ethnic senior people...
Summit Vista

How retirement communities help with healthy aging

There are many benefits that retirement communities contribute to healthy aging. Learn more about how it can enhance your life, or the life of your loved ones.
UHP Trooper Talks After Close-Call Crash