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My last post was on the dangers of drowsy driving and then I came across an article in the Park Record, my hometown newspaper, which again hits home on this issue. A Utah Highway Patrol trooper and a tow truck driver were injured last Sunday as they assisted a stranded motorist along Interstate 80 near Park City. The vehicle owner was also injured.

A pickup truck towing a fifth wheel trailer was disabled after lug nuts came loose and the truck lost a wheel.The truck and fifth wheel trailer were on the left shoulder of I 80 when Park City Towing responded to assist along with the Utah Highway Patrol. The tow truck driver was attempting to hook the fifth wheel to his tow truck when the driver of an Audi fell asleep and drifted to the left striking the trailer. The force of the impact pushed the trailer into the three individuals who were standing nearby.

The owner of the truck and trailer suffered minor injuries and the trooper needed stitches in his left hand, but the tow truck driver was more seriously injured. Dave Belcher’s hand was pinned between a portion of the trailer hitch and the truck, nearly amputating his thumb. Belcher underwent a four hour reattachment surgery in an effort to save his thumb and his doctors remain hopeful. The driver of the Audi, John Payne, was issued a citation for his role in causing the accident.

Drowsy driving can injure, maim and kill. For safety tips, see my July 9th InjuryBoard blog post on the topic and the National Sleep Foundation site on the topic.

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