Trooper Recovering After High-Speed Crash
BOX ELDER COUNTY, Utah – A Utah Highway Patrol trooper is recovering after a high-speed crash sent him to the hospital Saturday. Now he’s speaking out about the accident and how it could have possibly been avoided.
Sgt. Brian Nelson was responding to an accident on I-15, near the Portage exit. It was the third crash, in the same spot, on the same day. It had been raining heavily in the area.
“The more it rains the more is sitting there and the water doesn’t run off,” said Nelson. “So the cars go over it, they hydroplane, they go off to the right, they go off to the left.”
Nelson got back in his car to write a report and that’s when it happened.
“I’d only been there maybe a minute,” said Nelson. “I heard something that didn’t sound normal as a car was going by and it was just a split second and then bam, it hit me.”
A pick-up truck lost control, hit the back of Nelson’s patrol car and then slammed into the other vehicle.
All he could think about were his wife and four kids.
“You think about them, you think about your family. You think about how fast your life could change in a split second,” said Nelson.
Sunday night, they were all feeling grateful Nelson is home because they know it could have been so much worse.
“If the truck that hit me would have been five feet to the back, it would probably have been a totally different story,” said Nelson.
Nelson hurt his neck in the crash and his arms went numb for a short time, but luckily, he had no other injuries. No one else involved was seriously hurt either.
In his 25 years as a highway patrol trooper, this crash was a first. But he knows many other troopers who have also been hit and he wants it to stop.
“For my life, for the other troopers and officers that are out there, just slow down,” said Nelson. “It’s a very simple thing to do and for some reason some people just can’t and won’t.”
Besides slowing down in bad weather, troopers say the best thing you can do if you’re hydroplaning is take your foot off the gas and let your vehicle slow down that way instead of hitting the brakes.
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