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UHP trooper avoids potential crash, credits drivers for slowing down

Dec 8, 2023, 10:03 PM | Updated: 10:27 pm

LAYTON — A close call for some drivers in Layton Friday morning after a van slid across U.S. Highway 89 going northbound due to snow on the road. The incident was caught on dashcam footage by a Utah Highway Patrol trooper.

“I missed it by a foot, or too, it was pretty close,” said UHP Trooper Juan Branchini, “I thought I was going to hit him.”

Branchini said other troopers were busy with calls all morning due to the Friday morning storm. Branchini was heading to assist other troopers after a car slid off the highway.

“I noticed this van in the right lane there was going about 30 mph… as I started to pass him just so where I could get to where I was going, that’s when they started sliding,” he said.

The dashcam footage posted on UHP’s Instagram only lasts a few seconds. It shows the vans sliding from the right lane across Branchini’s unit to the left lane. He said it felt like the van was coming towards him in slow motion.

“It caught me by surprise,” Branchini said.

 

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Thankfully, no one was hurt. Other drivers nearby were able to steer clear of the van as well.

People driving behind the trooper were also driving slowly and were not distracted. Branchini said he was able to quickly help the driver of the van make it off the highway safely.

“I believe since everyone was going a lot slower, everyone was able to stop on time,” he said.

Branchini credits drivers around him, including the driver of the van, for reducing their speeds on the icy highway.

Branchini said he believed the van’s tires caused it to slide — encouraging drivers to check their tires this time of year and continue to follow other small yet life-saving actions.

“Slow down,” he said. “Make sure you’re paying attention, make sure you’re at a good following distance, and make sure you’re wearing your seatbelt.”

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UHP trooper avoids potential crash, credits drivers for slowing down