OREM, Utah (ABC4 News) – A Utah Highway Patrol trooper is recovering tonight after being hit on I-15 near Spanish Fork early Thursday morning.
“We need the general public to keep an eye out for is, two of the main reasons that officers are killed in the line of duty are one, officer involved shootings and secondly car crashes,” says Sgt. Todd Royce with Utah Highway Patrol.
The accident happened around 8:30 a.m., Trooper Blake Bradford was conducting a traffic stop on northbound I-15 just south of Springville when another vehicle lost control, collided with the barricade, and smashed into Trooper Bradford’s patrol car.
“I had a trooper out on a traffic stop and another vehicle came up over the rise, lost control, hit the wall and came into the back of the troopers vehicle,” says Royce.
Trooper Bradford, who was sitting in his vehicle when the car hit, sustained serious, yet, non-life threatening injuries and was complaining of neck, shoulder, and back pain when he was transported to Utah Valley Regional Medical Center.
The force of the collision caused Trooper Bradford’s patrol car to hit the vehicle he had pulled over and even pushed his car just slightly into on-coming traffic.
Fortunately, no one else was injured in the crash. The two women in the car that hit Trooper Bradford were checked out at the scene and have yet to be cited as Spanish Fork Police continue to investigate.
Highway Patrol says even though the roads may look safe, drivers need to be extra cautious. The moisture from the fog we’re seeing is adding an extra layer of water on our roads. As that moisture settles, they say it creates those slick roads. In this case, UHP says the driver of the car was driving too fast for the conditions.
Utah Highway Patrol is urging drivers to keep a watchful eye on the road. They say in the last two weeks four troopers have been hit in the area. Those accidents have all involved people not driving for the weather conditions. They say they’ve been fortunate that it hasn’t resulted in a trooper’s death saying “we’ve been lucky,” but they need the public to look out for them when they see red and blue on the road.
“That’s our biggest thing is we hope that people protect us and the best way to protect law enforcement on the side of the road or anybody on the side of the road is to reduce your speed,” added Royce.
Not only would reducing your speed increase your response time when it counts, it could save a life.