“A semi truck decided to pass him on the right-hand side. That truck clipped the plow, and sent the plow across oncoming traffic. He went through the guardrail and then it went down 300 feet of embankment, rolling several times.” -UDOT Executive Director Carlos Braceras
Some jerk semi driver tried to overtake a plow in Spanish Fork Canyon, Utah, forcing the driver to careen off a cliff to avoid oncoming traffic. Thankfully the 23 year old state snowplow driver, Terry Jacobson, was wearing his seatbelt and survived the violent crash but suffered serious injuries. He remains in hospital. UDOT cited the semitruck driver for causing the crash.
This is a very disturbing example of why you do not try to overtake plows. Snowplow supervisor Neil Lundell wanted to be very clear with his message when he spoke to The Salt Lake City Tribune about drivers thinking of passing a snowplow on the highway:
“With this accident, It’s proof what our message is: Don’t pass us. Just stay behind us. Even though you’re late, it doesn’t matter. It’s safer behind us.”
Executive Director Braceras added:
“When you are behind the plow, everything is calm and it is a very safe place to be and you don’t have any snow flying in your face. If you think you can pass a snowplow and experience the same conditions in front of it or along the side of it as you do in the back you are fooling yourself.”
Executive Director Braceras went on to recommend giving 300 feet of space behind snowplows in part because they are often distributing sand or salt behind them.
Please be respectful and patient if you find yourself behind a plow this winter. Its never justified to put yourself and everyone else on the road in danger just because you need to get somewhere faster.