SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (ABC4) – Wednesday morning, an incident management truck was hit when trying to respond to debris on the road. This happened while its Crash Responder Safety week and officials are saying it’s all the more reason to remember to drive carefully when you see responders on the roads, especially when just a week ago, a UHP trooper vehicle was hit when they were responding to a crash near Taylorsville.
Justin Koyle, an incident management specialist, was responding to some debris on the road — what he said looked like a plastic box — on I-15 near Spanish Fork this morning when suddenly, his day took an unexpected turn.
“I called dispatch to say I had been hit by a vehicle that swerved to miss the debris,” Koyle said.
Koyle was in his truck at the time, waiting for traffic to slow down before removing the box.
“I did feel the impact, it was pretty hard hit,” he said.
Koyle said the driver tried to swerve to miss the box when she lost control and hit his truck. Neither were injured, but Koyle says it’s an important reminder.
“If you see our lights, slow down and move over,” he said.
Koyle shared that he was also hit a few years ago when he was working on a rollover crash in Juab County. That time, he was hit outside his truck.
“We worry everyday that the traveling public is not paying attention to us,” he said.
Robert Bratton, an Operations Manager with the Incident Management Team, says accidents like Wednesdays are something he’s seeing more often – and we can stop them by making sure we are paying attention to the road, putting distractions away and changing lanes to give responders more room.
“It’s a simple fix and if we all work together, we can make a positive change and stuff that happened like this morning to Justin won’t happen,” he said.
He also shared that if you do happen to see debris on the road, it’s better to slow down and hit it rather than create more damage by potentially causing a crash.