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Woman severely injured when rock falls off vehicle and smashes through windshield on Utah Highway 6

Posted at 7:36 AM, Dec 28, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-30 01:12:28-05

PRICE, Utah — A woman is in the hospital with severe head trauma after a cement block fell off a truck and smashed through the windshield of the car she was riding in near Price on Sunday.

According to the Utah Highway Patrol, a driver and passenger of a Subaru were driving eastbound near mile marker 129 just on S.R. 6 when the cement block fell off a truck traveling in the opposite direction.

READ: Man arrested following fatal traffic accident in Ogden

"That piece of block just bounced off the highway and went through the windshield," said Trooper Mikki Vargas with the UHP.

UHP is still looking for the truck that caused Sunday's accident.

"Anyone who saw any kind of vehicle that may have been hauling bricks or cement or anything like that," said Trooper Vargas. "Even if they just remember briefly, any kind of information we will take and try and follow up with."

Anyone with information can submit a tip on their website, or by calling 801-965-4518.

The woman, who was in the car with her boyfriend driving, is in stable condition and went through CT scans Monday. She is expected to make a full recovery.

The Utah Department of Transportation said wrecks caused by unsecured cargo are all too common.

"Honestly, it's something that's entirely preventable," said Zach Whitney, a spokesperson with UDOT. "Something that we ask people just to take a few extra minutes to make sure that their loads are secure."

READ: Semi-truck hauling oranges rolls on its side in Wasatch County

Whitney says UDOT crews remove roughly 16 million pounds of debris off of Utah roads every year.

"Our crews take out on average 8,000 tons of litter," he added.

The debris leads to about 500 accidents annually. Most of them small, but unsecured cargo can lead to major accidents like what happened in Price Sunday.

Whitney added that drivers should take a few extra steps before hitting the road to prevent the worst from happening.

"A lot of times people have this misperception that if my load, if I see that it's not moving, then it's not going to move," he said. "We need to account for what's going to happen when I get on the freeway going 55, 60 miles-per-hour."

He said all cargo should be covered if possible, and if it's hanging over the sides of a truck bed or trailer, it might be time to reconsider taking it on the freeway.

"If you keep them below the sides, then that's going to prevent things from flying over," Whitney added.

Trooper Vargas said legally, drivers need to cover all loose cargo, like sand, gravel or rocks.

"That way it doesn't constantly blow and crack people's windshields," she said.

Both UHP and UDOT encourage drivers to report any debris they see on roads, or cars with unsecured cargo, directly to the Utah Highway Patrol's dispatch line at 801-965-4518.