“Stay Back” Officials Warn After Big Rig Plows Snow Plow
Rock Springs, WY – A Wyoming Department of Transportation (WYDOT) snow plow was flipped on its side after being plowed by a semi-truck on Interstate 80 Thursday morning.
According to WYDOT, the accident took place near mile marker 148 in the eastbound lanes of I-80 around 9 a.m.
Authorities say WYDOT plow driver, Jake Webber, was plowing the right hand lane and shoulder of the eastbound lanes, traveling at approximately 35 mph as trucker Angel Hernandez, operating a tractor-trailer belonging to Blue Line, was also traveling east in the right lane, behind him.
Officials say Hernandez failed to move over and rear-ended Webber’s plow truck.
The impact caused the plow to run off the right side of the road and overturn.
The tractor-trailer then jack-knifed and exited the roadway, investigators say.
Both trucks came to rest on the right side of the road.
Webber was transported to a local hospital for “undetermined, but not life-threatening injuries,” WYDOT reported.
Hernandez did not report any injuries at the scene, officials say.
Watch Out For Snow Plows
“We are asking the public to remember to slow down and adjust your driving to current road and weather conditions. These plow drivers are our friends, neighbors and family members,” WYDOT’s District Maintenance Engineer, Tory Thomas, said.
“We all want them to come home safely every night,” Thomas continued.
WYDOT reminded the public in a statement that it has numerous bright yellow snow plows working the roads.
When working in winer weather conditions on the roadways, the plows have amber, red and blue dashing lights on display.
“[The plows] are spreading sand, anti-icing and de-icing chemicals on the roadway. It’s always a good idea to stay back from snow plows while their operators are doing their jobs,” Thomas commented.
With limited visibility brought on by snowy and windy conditions, plow drivers can’t see vehicles behind them if the vehicles are too close to the plows, WYDOT says.
“Remember, the safest driving surface is behind the plow. If you must pass, don’t pass on the right into the plume of snow being moved,” Thomas said.
“Keep a close watch as these huge plows often stir up their own whiteout conditions while doing their work,” he concluded.
It is unclear if any charges will be filed against Hernandez.