SPANISH FORK, Utah -- A tow truck driver is recovering at Utah Valley Hospital in Provo after a crash in Spanish Fork Canyon, but doctors say he wouldn’t even be alive it wasn’t for the quick actions of a Utah Highway Patrol Trooper.
“We were at [mile post] 193 which is about half way up the canyon,” said UHP Trooper Kerry Ball.
On the stretch of Highway 6 just after 8 p.m. Sunday night a silver car hit a patch of ice and slid off into a ditch. Ball and a tow truck driver were able to get the car out but just as they were getting ready to leave they heard tires screeching. A black vehicle lost control after hitting an icy patch on the road.
“It’s one of those oh no moments, 'is that car coming at me? Is that car coming at the tow truck driver? Is he coming at the other car,'” Ball asked.
Ball turned around just in time to see the car slam into the tow truck.
“Your heart sinks into your stomach,” Ball said.
The car pushed the massive vehicle into the tow truck driver, officials with UHP said.
“It basically just dropped him straight to the ground,” Ball said.
Ball rushed over to the man who had fractures to both legs, including a compound fracture and he was bleeding out. It was a moment when minutes mattered but life flight was a half hour away. Ball wrapped a tourniquet around the man’s leg, and soon the bleeding finally stopped.
“That tourniquet did save his life,” Ball said.
In the last 24 hours, that moment has replayed in his mind, knowing this could have been a lot worse.
“That could have been life changing had I not been there,” Ball said.