Video shows distracted driver plowing through UHP patrol car, injuring soldier

MURRAY, Utah — New dash cam video shows the chilling moments of a distracted driver crashing into a Utah Highway Patrol vehicle on Interstate 215 on Tuesday, injuring the soldier and others.

A video angle points to the front of the car, which sat behind an SUV during a traffic stop. Another video angle is facing the back inside the car. A black car is seen driving straight towards the patrol car, as the soldier sits in the front seat.

The car rams into the rear, catapulting the patrol vehicle several feet forward into the SUV in front of it. The sound of the accident is deafening.

Almost every UHP trooper in the state heard the radio call for this accident, knowing that one of their colleagues had been injured.

Three lightly injured after car hits UHP patrol car

“It’s scary,” said Private Cody Ohlau, who was working and traveling to a meeting in southern Utah at the time. “And I immediately start looking at my computer for any information I can find, anything that comes through the dispatch.”

He would learn that his colleague, Cavalier Romeo Martinez, was injured, along with two others. Martinez was still recovering on Wednesday and his patrol vehicle was destroyed.

While none of the injuries were life-threatening and UHP officials said it could have been worse, it was also completely preventable.

“It frustrates me that people don’t take the time to come around for us,” Ohlau said. “Just like they want to go home every day, I want to go home every day.”

Ohlau knows all too well what his work friend has been through, having been through similar situations twice.

“I’ve been hit not so hard before, but I’ve been hit from behind before. I was boned at low speed,” he explained. While one of the situations came from icy roads, he said another came from a driver who was not paying attention.

“Luckily none of my accidents were that bad, but it’s scary,” he said. “Nobody likes being hit by a car.”

And UHP certainly doesn’t like having to remind drivers to follow the most basic rules of the road, but Ohlau said it had to be said. Ohlau said he wanted everyone to be safe.

“Watch your speed, slow down, obey the speed limit, put down your phone, put down your food,” he said. “There is nothing in this world worth dying for.”

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