GRANTSVILLE, Utah — Westbound lanes of Interstate 80 were shut down for nearly the entire day following an accident involving a Utah Highway Patrol trooper near Grantsville.
“It’s a situation that easily could have been tragic,” said trooper Sterling Saiz.
The accident near mile marker 85 came after a trooper stopped a semi truck on the side of the highway. Another truck attempted to move out of the right lane to give the trooper more room, but failed to see a car in its blind spot and over-corrected, causing the truck to sideswipe the other semi and the trooper's SUV.
Raw video below from Chris Russell shows I-80 scene immediately following crash
Following the initial hit, the truck crashed off the highway and turned on its side, leading to the cab catching on fire. The car the truck was trying to avoid also crashed, injuring the male and female passengers inside.
“We’ve got stuff blowing up that’s not good,” said a man in the background of cell phone video captured by a FOX 13 News viewer.
We’ve got stuff blowing up that’s not good,” said a man in the background of cell phone video captured by a FOX 13 News viewer.
“Luckily the driver of the semi-truck managed to run out and he did manage to escape serious injury,” said Saiz.
The car the truck was trying to avoid also crashed, injuring the male and female passengers inside.
Bystanders who witnessed the crash were able to help the trooper get the passengers out of the car. Trooper Sterling Saiz believes the man and woman were in stable condition when they were transported to the hospital.
"I'm very lucky that I was standing on the passengers side of the semi truck and not making a drivers side approach, and ultimately, everybody seems to be coming out of this without any fatalities in a situation that easily could have been very tragic," said Saiz, who was not injured during the accident.
“We all worked together to get people out of the car and try to stabilize the incident overall,” he said.
Saiz has been a trooper with the Utah Highway Patrol for six years. He said he’s seen and responded to many crashes, but this was his first time directly involved in a wreck like this.
“I’m very lucky that I was standing on the passenger side of the semi-truck and not making a driver’s side approach,” he said.