A veteran ITD snowplow operator escaped without injuries when his truck took an unexpected turn for the worse this week.
Rick Prophet, a Transportation Technician stationed at the Hailey maintenance facility, was on a routine snow plowing operation Monday (Feb. 27) when the blade on his 10-wheel truck hit unpaved, softened gravel in a turnout. The abrupt stop caused the truck to overturn and land on the passenger side.
Prophet was traveling at about 30 mph when the crash occurred. The 1994 Autocar truck sustained extensive damage and could be declared a total loss.
The accident occurred around 5 p.m. just north of the junction of Ohio Gulch and Highway 75, between Hailey and Ketchum. Early spring-like conditions caused rapid thawing and an unexpected soft highway shoulder.
The accident slowed traffic for nearly two hours. The northbound lane was closed temporarily while the Blaine County Sheriff’s Department and other emergency personnel helped ITD with traffic control and removal of the truck. The operation required two four-hard loaders and a lot of careful maneuvering.
“Anyone that can roll a 10-wheel snowplow and walk away from it, unharmed physically, is a pretty lucky person,” said Ron Robinson, Hailey/Stanley Maintenance Foreman.
“This stands as a reminder to all operators that spring is rapidly approaching and that extra caution should be used when plowing potentially thawed highway shoulders and pullouts.”