snowplow damaged in rear-end collision;
A 10-wheel ITD dump truck was damaged extensively when struck from behind by a semi-tractor/trailer carrying a full load of seed potatoes on snowy Interstate 15 Saturday (Jan. 28). Troy Stone, operator of the snowplow, and the truck driver escaped with relatively minor injuries.
The rear-end crash occurred between 2 p.m. and 2:30 at the Humphrey Interchange near Dubois (milepost 199). Blizzard-like conditions, with blowing and drifting snow and a broken snow floor, made travel difficult at the time, explained District 6 safety trainer Randy Drake.
Traffic was detoured around the crash site for about 2 1⁄2 hours and the interstate was reduced to a single lane for about 7 1⁄2 hours while the two conjoined vehicles were separated, Drake added. The responding tow truck operator had difficulty pulling the semi-tractor from the back of the snowplow. The trucks were finally removed at about 10 p.m.
The ITD truck was traveling about 35 mph and was engaged in plowing snow at the time of the crash. The sand spreader had about three-quarters of a load of gravel but was not being used because of the windy conditions, Drake said.
He reminded motorists to use extreme caution when encountering a working snowplow on highways and interstates. Drake also warned against passing snowplows that are operating on two-lane divided highways.
Radio and television commercials emphasizing snowplow safety are being aired throughout Idaho to make motorists aware of the inherent dangers of winter driving and snow removal. The best defense is to drive according to the prevailing weather and road conditions.