This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2010, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.
A family had its trip to St. George cut short after being hit by a Utah Highway Patrol trooper as he was attempting to slow down traffic to clear road debris Monday morning.
"I don't know what I'm going to do. I've got three little kids, a van that might be totaled, and I have no idea who's paying for anything," said Kaela Burgess, of Clark Fort, Idaho.
The Burgess family was heading to St. George to spend Thanksgiving with family. They were driving south in Murray on Interstate 15 when the trooper began traveling across all lanes, which is the procedure for slowing traffic, said Trooper Todd Johnson of the Utah Highway Patrol.
"It should be obvious to slow down when you see the lights and hear the sirens," Johnson said.
The Burgesses' minivan was in the far-left lane, next to the trooper when he turned on his siren and lights, said Kaela Burgess.
"We began slowing down, but he just didn't see us," she said.
The trooper hit the van's front passenger door, and then spun into traffic. The van went into the carpool lane and came to a stop.
The Burgesses waited for more than 15 minutes before another law-enforcement officer came to them, asking them if they were witnesses to the trooper's crash. Burgess informed the officer they were part of the accident, not witnesses, and filled out the proper forms.
Eventually, they moved off the freeway and waited at a gas station off 7200 South. The trooper in the accident arrived, apologized and wished them good luck.
"I think he said 'good luck' because they aren't helping us out," Burgess said as her husband, Andrew, was driving her to an urgent care for treatment. She hit her head against the passenger window in the collision, she said.
Her van was leaking antifreeze and the passenger side was smashed in, preventing the sliding door from opening.
Burgess said she didn't know how she would get her family to St. George.
The Murray Police Department was investigating the crash.
Car hits trooper's vehicle as he helps motorists who slid off an icy road
Snowy roads caused a driver to crash into a Utah Highway Patrol car whose driver was helping motorists who had slid off the road Sunday evening near the central Utah town of Joseph.
Troopers were assisting several motorists who had slipped off the road on Interstate 70 near milepost 25. One trooper was out of his vehicle, setting up traffic cones and road flares in the eastbound lanes, when a car hit the back of his vehicle. No one was injured in the crash.
UHP reminds motorists to slow down when driving in inclement weather and to move over a lane when they see flashing lights from an emergency vehicle.