ROAD TO ZERO

Dashcam video shows how UHP trooper stopped another wrong-way driver

Jun 1, 2022, 6:45 PM | Updated: Jun 2, 2022, 7:17 am

NORTH SALT LAKE, Utah — Dramatic dashcam video showed the moment a state trooper stopped yet another wrong-way driver Wednesday morning.

It’s hard to pin down exactly why this keeps happening, but the Utah Highway Patrol pleaded with drivers to slow down and pay attention.

So far this year, there have been about 50 incidents with wrong-way drivers. Many of them ended with fatal crashes.

Police are using emergency maneuvers to stop the cars from putting themselves in harm’s way to protect other drivers.

In the most recent incident, the video showed Trooper Ricky Jensen speeding up Interstate 215 near Legacy Parkway to catch up with a driver to his left in the southbound lanes.

You could hear Jensen in the video explaining to dispatchers what he is doing. “Vehicle was traveling northbound at mild speeds.”

Jensen was still going fast enough that a head-on collision could have easily been fatal. He quickly turned around toward the other car.

DPS trooper Ricky Jensen (KSL TV) A UDOT camera shows where Jensen stopped the wrong-way driver. (UDOT)

Jensen said, “I attempted to get the wrong-way driver stopped just with my lights and sirens and was unable to do so.”

It pushed him to make a quick and crucial decision and the two made contact on the driver’s side.

“The worst-case scenario and the last thing that we really want to do came into play,” Jensen said.

He ran to check on the other driver. These quick maneuvers are done to avoid a much more dangerous situation with another driver down the road.

Jensen said, “It’s terrifying, you know. There’s obvious things that you think about – your family, your loved ones, and absolutely the public. Again, it comes down to the public’s safety.”

KSL kicks off campaign to raise awareness about 100 Deadliest Days of Summer

Jensen said the driver was older and confused. We’re now in what’s considered the 100 deadliest days on Utah’s roads, highlighting the need to take care.

Jensen said, “It’s definitely a cause for concern when we’re on the roads.”

Both Jensen and that other driver are okay. The airbags gave Jensen some burns and he is sore.

The elderly driver’s family planned a difficult conversation with him about how to keep him safe and likely away from the steering wheel in the future.

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Dashcam video shows how UHP trooper stopped another wrong-way driver