Dramatic video shows the moment when truck ran a snow plow off a Utah highway Thursday, sending the plow tumbling 300 feet to the ground below.
The video, taken by a tow truck traveling in the opposite direction, shows a semi-truck attempting to pass the snow plow on U.S. Highway 6 in Spanish Fork Canyon, about an hour south of Salt Lake City.
The driver of the semi-truck "got too close" as he was attempting to pass on the snow plow's right side, said John Gleason, public information officer for the Utah Department of Transportation.
As the semi-truck passed, the driver became blinded by the wash coming off the snow plow, and he lost visibility, Gleason said. The semi-truck driver then veered into the left lane, clipping the snow plow.
"It's something that we caution against all the time," he said, adding that a professional should be "especially" aware to "never pass a snow plow, especially on the right side."
The snow plow then rolled 300 feet down the hill to the ground below, Gleason said. Several witnesses who saw the crash stopped, including one man who hiked down to make sure the driver was OK.
"It was pretty incredible," Gleason said. "And to see the pictures...of the aftermath, it's amazing that anyone lived."
The snow plow driver sustained serious injuries and is expected to recover, Gleason said. The driver of the semi-truck was cited with improper passing and failure to maintain his lane, said Utah Highway Patrol Trooper Lawrence Hopper.
The UDOT is now urging drivers to give snow plows room to work.
"That's why we caution people to keep your distance," Gleason said. "Give them plenty of room to do their work."
The semi-truck driver, who was returning to Utah from Texas, told police that he was aware that he should not have passed the snow plow, but he did not offer any explanation as to why he did it, Gleason said.
Editor's note: The time stamp on the video is incorrect. The accident occurred at about 11:30 a.m. MT on Thursday.