While these two stories happened several days/weeks ago, the new snow and treacherous highway conditions Wyoming is seeing right now are a good reason to bring it out today – please be careful for yourself, and for others out there!
On Christmas Day, 2015 …
A Wyoming State Trooper sustained minor injury after his patrol car was struck on Interstate 80 on Christmas Day. The patrol car was struck around 3:30 p.m. on Dec. 25th approximately 31 miles east of Evanston, Wyoming in snow and ice covered road conditions.
Evanston area Trooper Matt Arnell, a 15 year WHP veteran, was assisting a motorist who had slid off into the median at mile post 36 on I-80 westbound when a Hyundai passenger car lost control and crashed into the rear of Trooper Arnell’s patrol car. Trooper Arnell saw the out of control Hyundai coming at him and was able to prepare for the collision while seated inside of his issued 2012 Dodge Charger patrol car.
The collision pushed Trooper Arnell’s patrol car down into the north ditch. The Hyundai stopped in the middle of the westbound lanes of I-80. After the collision, Trooper Arnell was able to check on the driver of the Hyundai, 20 year old Dakota Anglin of Midvale, Utah, and assisted in getting her out of the vehicle while pushing the Hyundai out of westbound interstate traffic.
Trooper Arnell was evaluated at Evanston Regional Hospital for injury and was released that same day. Trooper Arnell has since returned to full duty.
In 2015, eight WHP patrol cars were struck in similar crashes while Troopers were in the performance of their duties. This crash is a reminder to please slow down on two lane highways and to move over on interstate highways when you are approaching stopped emergency vehicles. It is common courtesy, common sense and the law in Wyoming.
On January 8, 2016 …
Around 3:00 p.m. on January 8, a Wyoming Highway Patrol Trooper was investigating a commercial truck rollover crash and assisting other motorists who had slid into the ditch near mile post 375 on Interstate 80 approximately 11 miles east of Cheyenne, Wyoming.
While the Trooper was out of the patrol car assisting a motorist stuck in the snow, a pickup truck traveling too fast for the ice covered interstate lost control and crashed into the WHP vehicle. Thankfully, no injuries were sustained during the crash.
Even with six other law enforcement vehicles, WYDOT trucks and tow trucks on scene conducting traffic control on the scene after the crash, motorists were still traveling through the crash scene at 65 and 70 mph on the ice.
Secondary crashes into primary crash scenes are one of the biggest hazards first responders face in adverse weather conditions. Once again we are reminding everyone to please slow down on two lane highways and to move over on interstate highways while slowing down when you are approaching stopped emergency vehicles. It is common courtesy, common sense and the law in Wyoming.