A graphic video showing a Utah state trooper being hit and sent airborne by a passing motorist on a snow covered freeway underscores the reason drivers need to abide by Move Over laws.
On Sunday, Sgt. Cade Brenchley had stopped on the side of a highway in Sardine Canyon to help several motorists that had slid off the road. Dashcam footage captured the horrifying moment when a driver lost control and plowed into him from behind.
Brenchley is seen flying through the air and slamming into the vehicle he stopped to help.
Bystanders rushed to render aid to the 13-year veteran. One man used the radio in Brenchley's squad to call for help. Among the first Cache Valley responders were three of Brenchley’s cousins, the Utah Department of Public Safety said.
Miraculously, Brenchley suffered only broken ribs and a broken scapula.
It was somewhat of a surreal experience, Brenchley said during a press conference Tuesday
He remembers stepping out of his vehicle, ”and then I remember everything was black. It felt like a weird dream," he said. ""I woke up and saw snow. I was gasping for breath." Then it registered.
"I've been hit, holy crap."
Brenchley was the 11th Utah trooper to be hit this year, one more than all of last year.
Officers being hit has also been a problem in Minnesota. While no troopers have been injured in Minnesota this year, five squads have been hit so far. Last year five Minnesota troopers were hurt and 17 squads were struck. Since 2008, 56 troopers responding to incidents on the road have been hit, according to Lt. Tiffani Nielson of the State Patrol.
Minnesota law requires drivers on road with two or more lanes in each direction to move over one full lane when passing emergency vehicles that are stopped on the side of the road and have flashing lights on
"If this video doesn't convince you to slow down in bad weather I don't know what will," read a Facebook post on the Cache Valley Breaking page. "These officers are putting their lives at risk to help you, do them a favor and give them space!