‘We have families too’ — UHP troopers plead for drivers to slow down and move over after 10 troopers hit Thanksgiving week

SALT LAKE CITY — New numbers released by the Utah Highway Patrol show 10 troopers were hit while responding to people out on the road during last week's winter storm.

UHP Capt. Jeff Nigbur with Utah Highway Patrol has been here in Utah for 20 years and said he hasn’t seen anything as scary as Thanksgiving week.

“I was out walking on the freeway and I did not feel safe,” he said.

One of Nigbur’s troopers had to jump over the barrier on I-15 to avoid being hit by a driver sliding into his patrol car.

“That just absolutely scared me to death as a supervisor,” Nigbur said. “I didn’t know whether my trooper was hurt, hit, or dying.”

From Wednesday to Sunday, troopers spent Thanksgiving and the end of the month responding to 598 crashes — from Ogden to Payson.

One the same days in 2018, troopers responded to 434 crashes.

“Trust me, you do not want to be out there,” Nigbur said. “It is not a good feeling to be out there when cars are sliding off the road and when you have to jump retainer walls to make sure you’re safe.”

So far this year, 31 troopers have been hit.

Troopers aren’t the only ones at risk when out in the storms.

“Remember that we have families too, and remember that we want to make it home each night,” Nigbur said.

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