UHP trooper struck on icy road

Second time in two days an officer is struck while assisting

Published: Monday, Jan. 10 2011 12:50 p.m. MST

A Highway Patrol vehicle sits along I-15 in Box Elder County after being involved in one of several crashes Monday.

Utah Highway Patrol

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WILLARD BAY, Box Elder County — For the second time in two days a Utah Highway Patrol vehicle was hit while a trooper was assisting motorists.

Around 5 a.m. a trooper was handling several crashes on I-15 near Willard Bay. The trooper was sitting in his car filling out an accident report when a tow truck arrived to take away one of the vehicles involved in the accident.

As the tow truck slowed down, another car came up too fast for the snowy conditions and hit the tow truck, which in turn slammed into the trooper's car.

"The tow truck was doing everything properly, slowing down, they have their emergency lights on when they are coming in," trooper Todd Johnson said. "Somebody, for whatever reason, was just not paying attention, was going too fast."

The trooper received minor back injuries. He was treated at a local hospital and later released. No other injuries were reported.

Perry police are investigating Monday's crash. It's unclear if the driver has been cited.

Northbound I-15 was closed for awhile Monday morning in the Willard Bay area because of numerous slide-offs.

More than a half-dozen crashes were reported and at least two people were taken to local hospitals with minor injuries.

The accident comes just 24 hours after another trooper was parked at the top of the on-ramp for I-15 at 4500 South assisting a vehicle that had slid off the road and was hit from behind by an another vehicle. The trooper received minor injuries.

The highway patrol says last year 21 troopers were hit and seven of the crashes were in December. Already this year, three troopers have been hit, with one near miss.

"The first 10 days of the year … the numbers are quite high to begin with and it's a little too high," Johnson said.

UHP urges drivers to slow down and move over whenever they see emergency vehicles.

e-mail: preavy@desnews.com; aforester@desnews.com

Twitter: DNewsCrimeTeam

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