Last updated: Apr 18, 2023 / 09:06 PM MDT
TOOELE COUNTY, Utah (ABC4) — A Utah Highway Patrol trooper’s vehicle was hit head-on while the trooper was trying to stop a wrong-way driver in Tooele County on Tuesday, April 18. A witness of the collision said the trooper saved his life.
According to Sgt. Cameron Roden, UHP, authorities received reports of a pickup truck pulling a U-Haul traveling the wrong way on the westbound lanes of I-80 at about 3 p.m. on Tuesday.
“A UHP Sergeant was westbound in the number one lane unaware of the approaching vehicle,” the press release stated. “He observed the wrong-way vehicle approaching and activated his emergency lights and siren. He reduced his speed and stayed in the path of the wrong-way driver.”
The trooper intercepted the vehicle by colliding with the pickup truck head-on, Roden said. At the same time of the collision, another white pickup truck hit the back of the patrol vehicle as well.
Alex Whitbeck, a witness to the crash, said the trooper saved his life.
“The officer decided he would put his life in front of mine and hit the driver head-on,” Whitbeck wrote in his Facebook post. “Today, I’m thankful for the police officer that saved my life.”
Whitbeck, his brother, and his dog did not have a scratch on them even though their vehicle was only 50 feet away from the trooper’s car.
The wrong-way driver sustained minor injuries. The trooper was reportedly not injured but was transported to a local hospital as a precaution. The status of the third driver remains unknown.
Traffic on westbound I-80 was blocked at milepost 101 for an hour. Additionally, the right lanes of westbound I-80 were closed for two hours for cleanup.
The Tooele County Sheriff’s Office is investigating the crash.
No further information is available at this moment.