LOCAL NEWS

Incident management hit on side of I-15 during Crash Responder Safety Week

Nov 16, 2022, 1:51 PM | Updated: 7:21 pm

MURRAY, Utah — Nationally, over the last three years from 2019 to 2021, there have been 155 fatal struck-by incidents.

Utah Highway Patrol and others are urging drivers to give them space on the roads when stopped. 

The Move Over Law in Utah says vehicles coming up on a traffic incident are required to slow down and, if able, to move over a lane to give first responders room to work. If failing to do so, drivers can get cited. 

The Move Over Law is there to protect everyone, including drivers, officers, and first responders.

Justin Koyle with UDOT Incident Management was hit Wednesday morning. 

“I was right here,” said Koyle. 

Just 40 minutes into his work shift, he said a driver was trying to keep from hitting a box in the road on going Northbound on Interstate 15 near Spanish Fork, when they swerved into the right shoulder instead. 

Koyle said he watched the car coming up in his mirror.

“This is where the car come in and hit my bumper and was able to go to the right shoulder in front of my truck,” said Koyle.

Incident Management truck with scrapes on the front bumper. Incident management was responding to a crash when a passing vehicle did not get out of the way and hit the trucks bumper. Incident management was responding to a crash when a passing vehicle did not get out of the way and hit the trucks bumper.

Talk about timing: The collision comes during Crash Responder Safety Week, when Utah Highway Patrol and its partners are delving into the dangers responders face on the daily while working to clear traffic incidents.

“I mean we worry every day that the traveling public’s not paying attention to us,” said Koyle.

Understandably so, especially given this isn’t the first time he’s been hit while on the job. 

“We work 40 hours a week serving the public. The chances: It’s not if it’s when,” said Koyle.

Utah Highway Patrol said nationally there have been 41 fatalities resulting from struck by incidents this year.

Sgt. Cameron Roden with Utah Highway Patrol said there seem to be peak times, too. 

“A lot of them happen during the winter months where people do not yield and move over like they should. (The driver) ends up losing control where crashes already occurred and end up sliding into first responders,” said Roden.

Koyle said in in a case like this morning, the best thing to do would have been to slow down and hit the box instead of swerving and losing control as a result. 

The goal, officers said, is for everyone to get home safely to their families.

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Incident management hit on side of I-15 during Crash Responder Safety Week