Highway Patrol Trooper And Civilians Have Close Call Near Rock Springs

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ROCK SPRINGS — A crash that occurred on the 11th of July around 8:30 a.m. on Interstate 80 eastbound at milepost 100 just west of Rock Springs, Wyoming could have been much worse.

A Wyoming State Trooper had stopped a pickup truck for speeding and was filling out paperwork when an eastbound commercial truck barely missed the parked patrol car and crashed into the stopped pickup truck.

The driver of the stopped pickup, 35-year-old Shiela Jasso, and her passenger, 27-year-old Raul Hernandez, both from Northglenn, Colorado, were not seriously injured. Shiela Jasso had minor injuries, was checked out by an ambulance crew on scene and required no further treatment.

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The driver of the commercial truck, 52-year-old Brian Puffpaff, of Layton, Utah, was not injured. Puffpaff stated that he was reaching for a bottle of water when he struck the pickup.

Puffpaff was cited for failing to maintain a single lane and for not moving over for a parked emergency vehicle.

The incident reminds us all of the importance of merging away from stopped emergency vehicles on an interstate and slowing down on a two-lane highway.

Wyoming Statute 31-5-224, commonly known as the “Move Over Law”, states that when drivers are approaching a parked emergency vehicle using any visual signals they are to merge into the farthest lane from the emergency vehicle when driving on an interstate highway or other highway with two or more lanes of travel in the same direction.
When approaching an emergency vehicle using any visual signals and parked on the shoulder of a two-lane road, drivers are expected to slow to a speed that is 20 miles per hour less than the posted speed limit.

Although it is not listed in the law, it is also common courtesy and common sense to apply these same rules when encountering a broken down motorist or anyone stopped on the side of the road.