FRUITLAND, Duchesne County — A West Valley City man was taken to the hospital by helicopter Saturday night after hitting a moose with his car near Strawberry Reservoir.
The 61-year-old man, whose identity has not been released, was traveling west on U.S. 40 about 8:30 p.m. when a moose entered the road in front of his car, Utah Highway Patrol trooper Michael Phillips said.
The man attempted to stop but struck the moose, which was thrown onto the car, breaking the windshield and caving in the vehicle's roof, Phillips said.
The man received lacerations to his face but did not appear to have life-threatening injuries. The man did not appear to by traveling at an inordinately high speed, and drugs and alcohol were not factors in the crash, Phillips said.
"We’re up there in the wilderness, and the wildlife unfortunately get struck at times," he said.
Dacia Jackson, a Vernal resident who came upon the scene after the accident, said that she rounded a curve in the road and saw a "mangled" white car and a man sitting roughly 30 feet away covered in blood and broken glass.
Jackson said she pulled her car over and ran back to help. She found the man sitting with a small group of other witnesses, with the moose laying nearby effectively torn in two.
"When you see the car, you won’t know how anybody walked out of it or how he even survived," Jackson said. "It was appalling."
She contacted police and with the other witnesses rendered basic aid to the man while they waited for medical personnel to arrive. Jackson said the man was conscious but confused, and she checked with dispatch operators to see if it was safe to move him farther away from the road.
"I didn't feel like we were safe, and I knew that he was in shock," she said.
As of Sunday, officials said the man remained hospitalized in stable condition.
Contributing: Sandra Yi
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