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June 18, 2021
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UHP cruiser hit by truck while responding to crash

MURRAY – A distracted driver and icy conditions proved to be a dangerous combination for a Utah Highway Patrol trooper, whose cruiser was hit by a car Wednesday morning. It’s the fifth time a trooper vehicle has been hit in 2021.

When you’ve worked the roads for 26 years, there aren’t many surprises anymore.

“I love the job,” said UHP trooper Troy Giles. “Seen quite a bit. I wouldn’t say all, but I’ve seen quite a lot.”

But on I-80 in Parleys Canyon, he saw something he hoped he would never see, even though he barely saw it coming.

“It did scare me, yes. It was kind of loud,” he said.

Giles was getting flares out of his trunk while working another crash scene in the canyon when his patrol car was sideswiped by a pickup truck that seemed to come out of nowhere.

“Like that,” he said, snapping his fingers. “That quick. It was just an instant. I had my back to him, so I couldn’t see him coming and just saw a blur go right past me.”

Fortunately, trooper Giles is OK.

The impact scraped and dented his patrol car, broke a hubcap and smashed the side view mirror.

“It’s a fairly new car, so I hope they fix it,” he said with a laugh because he also knows it could’ve been worse.

UHP Trooper Troy Giles’ patrol vehicle was hit by a car Wednesday morning, Jan. 27, 2021.

UHP Trooper Troy Giles’ patrol vehicle was hit by a car Wednesday morning, Jan. 27, 2021. (Photo: Stuart Johnson, KSL TV)

He’s asking drivers to please slow down and move over when you see a trooper, or anyone, on the side of the road.

“When you see the lights flashing, something is going on that you should be aware of,” said Giles. “Whatever it is, something is going on and you need to slow down.”

He’s the second UHP trooper to be hit this week and the fifth trooper in Utah to be hit in 2021. That compares to 10 troopers hit in all of 2020.

“Seems like it’s getting worse and worse,” said UHP Cpl. Tara Wahlberg.

She said 33 troopers were hit in 2019 — many of them during the winter.

UHP Trooper Troy Giles’ patrol vehicle was hit by a car Wednesday morning, Jan. 27, 2021.

UHP Trooper Troy Giles’ patrol vehicle was hit by a car Wednesday morning, Jan. 27, 2021. (Photo: Stuart Johnson, KSL TV)

“People are just in a hurry. They don’t want to slow down for winter weather conditions, but we really need to,” Wahlberg said.

Giles hopes drivers get the message. His family does, too.

“Glad to go home and see them tonight,” he said.

The driver who sideswiped Giles’ cruiser told law enforcement he didn’t see the car.

Photos

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