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Road rage led to semitrailer tipping over on freeway, UHP says

Published: Sunday, Feb. 14 2016 6:50 p.m. MST

Utah Highway Patrol troopers say it was a brief bout of road rage that caused a semitrailer to tip over and block I-215 east for several hours on Saturday, Feb. 13, 2016.

Utah Highway Patrol

MURRAY — Police say it was a brief bout of road rage that caused a semitrailer to tip over and block I-215 east for several hours on Saturday.

"It's a situation that blew up a lot bigger than what it needed to be," said Utah Highway Patrol Sgt. Chad Hecker.

The flatbed truck carrying steel and aluminum products was traveling north on I-15 and headed toward the exit onto I-215 east when the driver accidentally cut off a small passenger car, the sergeant reported.

"He was unfamiliar with the area and wasn't sure what lane to be in to make the exit," Hecker said. "When making one of those lane changes, apparently he cut off (the car)."

The driver of the car then pulled in front and "brake checked" the truck, according to witnesses.

"The semi driver was driving too fast and along with that and the other vehicle making him hit his brakes going on that curve, it made him lose control," Hecker said.

The truck then toppled over onto its driver's side. Hecker said the driver walked away with only a small cut.

"Luckily there was no one injured," he said. "That same accident could have impacted another vehicle. It could have been a life-threatening situation."

The accident, however, still backed up traffic for several hours.

"For that momentary anger, he impacted thousands and thousands of people," Hecker said.

Troopers were looking for the driver of the car Saturday, but Hecker said it would be a "long-shot" to track down the driver and hold him or her accountable. The driver could be facing charges of reckless driving at a minimum and possibly assault charges.

Hecker urged motorists to call police if they encounter any reckless drivers and to be understanding of fellow drivers.

"Understand semis have a hard job and trying to make a lane change is difficult," he said. "Understand no one's perfect and people make mistakes."

Contributing: Sandra Yi

Email: kmckellar@deseretnews.com, Twitter: KatieMcKellar1

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