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UHP trooper urges drivers to secure loads, yield to emergency vehicles after crash

Posted at 10:11 PM, Jun 21, 2024

WEBER COUNTY, Utah — Trooper Hunter Wirth was called to I-15 South in West Haven on May 28 on reports of a piece of plywood in the left lane.

“I was waiting there for about maybe a minute or two until the vehicle swerved into the left shoulder and rear-ended me, which pushed me into traffic and eventually was hit by another car going southbound as well,” he said. “And then another car hit, causing four cars in the crash total.”

He immediately got out of the car to make sure no one was hurt, he said.

“I didn't feel any pain at the time,” said Trooper Wirth. “I had to make sure everybody else was okay, so the three other vehicles involved I ran around each one to make sure they were okay at the time.”

"This accident never would’ve happened in the first place if one driver had just secured his load before hitting the road,” he said.

“We get calls daily,” said Trooper Wirth. “All the time, of things on the highway. Yesterday was a wheelbarrow, some things are a little bit bigger, and these big things can cause a lot of harm to people.”

His other message for drivers: "Move over."

“When you see emergency lights on the, whether it's the left side of the highway or the right side of the highway, you have to yield, whether that's slowing down, and if you can move over to the other lane,” said Trooper Wirth.

The accident could have turned out a lot worse, and it’s lucky everyone involved, himself included, walked away almost unscathed, he said.

“My wife had planned a vacation for the very next day,” said Trooper Wirth. “It was bad timing. I did have some minor injuries in my neck and my arm a couple of days later, like they normally do in crashes. But I think overall I was okay, and as far as I'm concerned everybody else was okay as well.”