A Wyoming Department of Transportation plow truck was hit by a Nissan passenger vehicle Friday morning on slick roads on Wyoming 28 near Atlantic City on South Pass.
The rear-end crash damaged the plow’s sander and the passenger vehicle’s front end. The plow truck was moving slowly (10-15 mph) and was preparing to pull off the highway on Wyoming 28 when the crash occurred.
The Wyoming Highway Patrol is investigating the crash.
WYDOT South Pass Maintenance Foreman Mike Hitshew said it’s important for citizens to realize that WYDOT plow trucks are out on the highways during and after snowstorms.
WYDOT has numerous bright yellow plow trucks, and when working the roads, these plow trucks have amber, red and blue flashing lights mounted on top of the cab and on the back of the sanders. Snow plow trucks and the plows are huge machines and equipment, capable of moving tons of snow every minute. Operators of these snow plows are highly trained professionals.
These snow plow professionals need cooperation from drivers so they can do their jobs and keep the road safe for drivers. Give them room to operate.
“Stay well back from operating snow plows,” Hitshew said. “They are spreading sand, anti-icing and de-icing chemicals on the roadway. It’s always a good idea to stay back from snow plows while their operators are doing their jobs. We still get people passing the plow truck at inappropriate times. Sometimes it takes a little time, but we’ll get out of the way when it’s safe. If we’re not moving over for drivers, it’s because it’s not safe.”
WYDOT employees are out on the highways every day and many nights, including holidays, attempting to provide a safe, high quality and efficient transportation system for the citizens of Wyoming.
WYDOT employees are on the roads when the conditions are the worst, and they’re out there between storms, too.
With limited visibility, snow plow drivers can’t see vehicles behind them if the vehicles are too close to the plows.
“Remember, the safest driving surface is behind the plow. If you must pass, don’t pass on the right into the plume of snow being moved,” Hitshew said. “Be sure on two-lane highways that you have plenty of time to pass. Keep a close watch. These huge plow trucks often stir up their own snow cloud while doing their work. It’s impossible to see what’s coming at you when passing a plow truck.”
WYDOT snow plows usually operate at slower speeds than other traffic. “Always remember our plows are helping to keep you safe,” Hitshew said.
Information links may help in planning your winter outings
— National Weather Service (Riverton) – www.crh.noaa.gov/riw
— WYDOT road conditions – www.wyoroad.info
— WYDOT road conditions – 1-888-WYO-ROAD
— 511 Notify – Dial 511 on your cell phone to obtain road information. This system can also be enabled to deliver road alerts as text messages to your phone or e-mails to your computer or phone on routes that the user identifies. Go to www.wyoroad.info and choose the 511 notify icon to set-up your account.
— The Wyoming 511 smart phone app is available for free download from the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store. Search for the Wyoming 511 app, and look for the blue icon with the WYDOT logo on it, or go tohttps://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=info.wyoroad.mobile.android or https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/wyoming-511/id1077881610.
In case of emergency, the following number may be contacted for assistance:
— Wyoming Highway Patrol (24 hours per day) – (800) 442-9090