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Winter conditions increase crashes on Utah roadways, including incidents involving UHP vehicles

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Posted at 5:03 PM, Dec 23, 2015
and last updated 2015-12-23 19:03:33-05

UTAH – Winter storms tend to bring an increase in fender benders, slide offs and other accidents, and the Utah Highway Patrol is urging drivers to watch out for police personnel and vehicles responding to those crashes—as several have been hit in recent weeks.

It happened again Tuesday night near Roy as another Utah Highway Patrol trooper's cruiser was hit as he was trying to do his job off to the side of the freeway.

The trooper’s car was side-swiped by an inattentive driver, who authorities say was traveling too fast for the conditions. Officials said the incident marks the third time something similar has happened in the past three weeks.

"It's really scary,” Trooper Evan Kirby of the UHP said. “It gets to the point where our spouses are texting us when they see snow fall to make sure we're OK. It really becomes scary for all of us out on the road."

The storms often hit quickly, and once the snow starts falling or the temperatures begin to drop, that's usually when slide-offs and other weather-related accidents start piling up. Troopers say it's also when everyone needs to pay extra attention to the road.

"When you see us on the side of the road, with out red and blue lights flashing, that means we're there working, and, chances are, if there's been a crash there, there's a reason, and we want you to pay specific attention because there's the potential for another crash zone,” Kirby said.

Police said the bottom line is getting everyone where they need to be, alive.

"We want to get home to our families, motorists want to get home, we all want to get home, and if we all slow down, it's going to help us all get there," Kirby said.

And the weather experts say we're going to have these on and off again, winter-like driving conditions over the next several days. They're asking everyone to please slow down, especially if you see those red and blue flashing lights on the side of the road. And, give troopers plenty of room to do their job.

The Utah Highway Patrol says there have been more than 100 crashes during the last two days of winter driving:

Weber County: Forty crashes and slide-offs, with one injury.

Davis County: Twenty crashes, with three injuries.

Salt Lake County: Fifty-four crashes, with four injuries.

Utah County: Eleven crashes, with one injury.