Dash cam shows close call with unsecured trailer on I-15; UHP says driver left behind mess

Mar 22, 2024, 11:57 AM

OGDEN — An extremely close call with an unsecured trailer was captured on a driver’s dash camera that made for some heart-stopping moments on Interstate 15 this week.

Even more troubling is what state troopers believe the driver did after narrowly causing the catastrophe.

The person who captured that dash cam said she nearly ended up in a head-on crash with that truck and trailer with her kids in the car.

Usually faced with intense collisions on the track, Junction City Roller Derby girl Kyllie “Kyro” Smith-Fry — whose team name is a play on the word “pyro” — was on her way to derby practice Wednesday to get ready for a big bout on April 6 at the Golden Spike Event Center in Ogden.

As she drove southbound on I-15 near the 31st Street exit in Ogden, Smith-Fry nearly ended up in a different kind of bout.

She said she could see a car to her right start to slow down. In front of that car, a truck with a flatbed trailer hauling what appeared to be lumber and construction supplies started to fishtail.

Then the truck lost all control, which she captured on her dash camera.

“He spun completely out. It was very quick,” Smith-Fry said. “He was in the far right lane, and within not even a split second, he was across all four lanes.

A truck hauling construction materials fishtails out of control on I-15 Wednesday. (Kyllie Smith-Fry)

Smith-Fry said she quickly pushed her hazard lights on and slammed on her brakes, coming face-to-face with the pickup truck.

“We were like head-on, almost about to hit head-on,” she explained. “But I was able to stop just in time.”

Smith-Fry’s dash cam in the back of her car showed a pickup truck behind her slam on its brakes too late, and the driver swerved last second to barely miss hitting the derby mom and her kids.

Because her vehicle wasn’t damaged, Smith-Fry ended up continuing down the road and assumed someone called for help.

The Utah Highway Patrol confirmed troopers came out to that area but had no idea that all of that had unfolded.

They said someone had called to report debris on the road that was creating a hazard for drivers.

“I didn’t realize that a vehicle had completely spun around or anything like that. There was no information as to that happening,” said UHP Trooper Konlin Squires. “We just heard there’s gravel on the roadway, and just went and cleaned it up.”

An unsecured load spills onto I-15 as drivers work to avoid the spun-out truck. (Kyllie Smith-Fry)

He explained the driver of the truck and trailer didn’t appear to stick around, and instead left his mess across the freeway that two Utah Department of Transportation plows scraped up.

UHP had to stop traffic for UDOT to safely clear everything away.

Trooper Squires said they could have cited the driver. It was clear, Squires explained, that the trailer weight distribution was off and not properly loaded and secured.

“That, along with his speed, is what causes him to fishtail kind of like that,” he said. “His load’s not secure, as you can see, with the pallets flying off in the video.”

UHP would like to find and speak to that driver to find out what was going on.

But above all, they’re hoping the incident and video will help others take trailer safety, seriously.

That includes properly securing a load, Squires explained, not speeding if pulling a trailer, and reporting any incidents to dispatch as well as staying at the scene if something happens.

Looking back at what her dash camera captured, Smith-Fry is glad her instincts kicked in.

“It’s kind of unbelievable,” she said. “I mean… somebody could have died.”

The derby mom stopped fast on her toes, avoiding a crash.

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Dash cam shows close call with unsecured trailer on I-15; UHP says driver left behind mess