MURRAY (ABC4 News) – A Utah Highway Patrol trooper is lucky to be alive after a pickup truck rolled over the top of his cruiser while he was standing nearby Sunday night.

Trooper Riley Rugg, 22, was outside of his patrol car on the side of westbound Interstate 80 in Parley’s Canyon investigating an earlier rollover crash involving a truck pulling a trailer. The driver of that truck was sitting inside Rugg’s vehicle when a pickup truck slammed into a tow truck and rolled over the UHP car, partially crushing the roof. 

Trooper Rugg’s body camera recorded the impact.

“I’m going to need additional units,” he can be heard saying in the video. Trooper Rugg was struck in the lower leg by a piece of debris from the collision but says his Marine Corps training kicked in as he stayed calm and rushed to help the female driver of the pickup who had been ejected and the man trapped in his cruiser. 

On Monday afternoon, he told reporters that he and a tow truck driver had just walked away from the point of impact just minutes before.

“We were standing in between my car and his tow truck when he initially showed up,” Trooper Rugg said. “He told me his company wasn’t going to be able to get the trailer and that’s why we walked down in front of my car because the trailer was down behind my vehicle so not moments earlier we were standing between his truck and my vehicle….I was directly in front of my vehicle it hit my vehicle and rolled over the top of it, straight over the front of it and as it was flying through the air it faded left more towards the shoulder, towards eastbound traffic. So it didn’t go over me but it did go over my car.”

“It’s a miracle that we weren’t hurt,” he continued. “Just a mile an hour or two difference in speed could have made the situation a lot different better or worse so I’m just grateful how it happened that we weren’t injured.”

The 23-year-old woman driving the pickup was flown to the hospital in critical condition while the man inside the UHP car suffered only minor injuries.

As for Trooper Rugg, he was back on duty and back on the roads Monday, working his usual 2 pm to midnight shift. 


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