Utah Highway Patrol trooper narrowly escapes second ‘close call’ crash in 5 months

A trooper in Utah escaped two close-call crashes in five months. (Source: KTVX/Utah Highway Patrol/CNN)
A trooper in Utah escaped two close-call crashes in five months. (Source: KTVX/Utah Highway Patrol/CNN)(GIM)
Published: Nov. 28, 2019 at 7:53 PM MST
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A Utah Highway Patrol trooper can count his lucky stars after two close calls on the job in five months.

Both times, another vehicle plowed into his cruiser while he was working an accident scene. And both times he avoided being hit.

On Monday, Trooper Riley Rugg’s dashboard camera shows him assisting a driver who spun out on I-15 in Midvale when he notices a speeding car start to slide toward him.

His body camera captured the terrifying moment from his perspective.

But what else was Rugg seeing?

"Well, a little bit of maybe my life flashing before my eyes,” he said. “It started veering towards my vehicle, and kind of last minute I was able to run around the front of the person's car and jump over the wall before they impacted my car. But I was a little worried that he was going to maybe squeeze between my car and the wall and hit me, so I just tried to get over the wall so the concrete barrier could protect me.

"I was lucky to get over the barrier in time and avoid getting hit by the car."

Holiday weeks seem to be a treacherous time for the 22-year-old husband and former Marine, who’s only been on the job for 14 months.

"I had a pretty close call the Fourth of July weekend this year," he said.

On July 7, he was working an accident along I-80 and had just walked away from his patrol vehicle when a speeding pickup truck rolled over the top of it.

The truck driver was ejected and flown to the hospital, but Rugg and the driver in the original crash escaped unscathed.

"It's a miracle that we weren't hurt,” Rugg said. “Just a mile an hour or two difference in speed could have made the situation a lot different, better or worse, so I'm just grateful how it happened that we weren't injured."

Despite the two close calls, Rugg said he’s not thinking about changing his career.

He’ll be patrolling the highways this Thanksgiving weekend.

Copyright 2019 KTVX via CNN. All rights reserved.

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